Pharmaceutical packaging is an intricate business that has to be handled from formulation development through marketing and sales. There are over 285 million prescription drugs provided during outpatient visits each year in the United States. There was another 2.6 billion prescribed during follow-up visits
It is no secret that prescriptions are a big business, and it is not limited tot he formulation development of the actual medication. There is also clinical storage and distribution of the drugs as they are being manufactured. There are clinical trials project management and everything that goes with that. There is medical packaging design and so much more.
How are package designs created? It starts with the type of medicine that needs to be packaged. For most pill prescriptions, manufacturers choose the plastic bottle with twist or pop cap. Most pharmacies now allow customers to choose child safe or not child safe when picking up their prescriptions. The type of pill or medicine also impacts packaging. Obviously, liquid medicines come in a bottle, but some come in pre-measured dosages.
Some medicines come in blister packs. This is probably most common with over the counter cold medicines, but is also used for a variety of different prescriptions. Blister packs keep the pills better protected and make doses clearer by separating them into blister tabs. Manufacturers like blister packs because they can also advertise on them making use of otherwise wasted space.
Some blister packs have a foil backing which is easy to break open. Other blister packs have a plastic backing which is much more difficult and often needs cut. This is to make the package more durable and child safe. Clamshell packs are also available, which fold over onto themselves.
Of course most prescriptions arrive at the pharmacy in large bottles filled with pills, which are then counted out as needed for the customers. In those cases, it is the pharmacy that gets to decide the type of bottles or caps they use to package and distribute medicine. Some pharmacies offer color coded prescription bottles for households with multiple people taking prescriptions. According to a recent survey, nearly fifty percent of all Americans have taken at least one prescription drug in the last thirty days. For more information, read this website.