Packaging Advice

What are the ideal qualities of pharmaceutical packaging?

5 mins

The attributes of packaging for the pharmaceutical industry is never an afterthought as a products efficacy and the patients safety is of paramount importance. Without tamper-evident and protective pharmaceutical packaging, drugs could either be tampered with or become damaged during delivery.

With an increasing amount of people requiring medical products, the global pharmaceutical packaging market is expected to rise. In fact, according to BCC Research, the global pharmaceutical packaging market is expected to climb from £149.2 billion in 2022 to £204.9 billion by 2027.

With a wide variety of packaging products on the market and the importance of effective pharmaceutical packaging at an all-time high, you may be wondering what is the ideal solution for your sensitive pharmaceutical and medical products.

In this article, we will explore what the ideal qualities of an optimal pharmaceutical packaging solution are so you can make an informed decision.

Pharmaceutical packaging should be tamper-evident

Another essential criteria for pharmaceutical packaging is that it should be tamper-evident. Pharmaceuticals are often targeted and can fall victim to counterfeit. In fact, more than 86% of brands believe their business is significantly damaged by counterfeiting and managers say they lose between 10-15% of revenue. This not only causes huge financial troubles, but it also poses a threat to your customers.

For consumers to recognise that pharmaceutical packaging has been tampered with, the packaging must be visibly and irreversibly damaged. This is why safety labels such as tamper-evident labels are crucial as they can be used to clearly show whether the packaging has been altered.

Tamper-evident packaging we recommend at Swiftpak include:

  • Security Labels: provide evidence of tampering through their permanent peel-and-stick adhesive backing. If anyone were to try and remove the label, the messaging will be left on the packaging as a clear warning to the receiver that the packaging has been tampered with.
  • Tamper Evident Tape: creates a permanent bond with the package, creating a tamper-evident seal, so if removed, the damage would be clearly visible. For example, with Tamper Evident Void Tape, the removal will leave behind a permanent adhesive layer with a message such as ‘VOID’ or ‘OPENED’. A clear sign to the receiver that they need to take action.
  • Tamper Evident Cartons: especially good for pharmaceutical products, tamper evident cartons are essential for providing an extra layer of security, so that they are impossible to open without causing any damage.
  • Bespoke packaging: a great security solution for pharmaceutical products, as bespoke packaging can be made so that you can only get to the product by damaging the box, so it is clear when it has been messed with.

Pharmaceutical packaging should protect sensitive products from damage

One of the most obvious and important qualities of pharmaceutical packaging is that it provides optimum protection against any damage that can occur throughout the supply chain. A study showed how 30% of global pharmaceutical and life science deliveries are spoilt or damaged before reaching their destination.

Medication that has been crushed, broken, or spilled during transport will not only result in an unhappy customer, but will also mean having to face the cost of returns. Worse yet, the possibility of the medication losing effectiveness and posing a threat to consumers.

With medical products, environmental hazards should also be considered. For example, moisture and particles, varying temperatures and microorganisms that could contaminate the product. According to WHO, 25% of vaccines are found to be ineffective when reaching their final destination due to uncontrolled temperature conditions. Additionally, 20% of temperature-sensitive items are said to be damaged during transport due to a cold chain that is broken.

This demonstrates how crucial it is that sensitive products such as vaccines are protected effectively. Pharmaceutical packaging should be durable enough to resist these elements and protect the items inside from any possible contamination.

At Swiftpak, we recently launched temperature monitoring labels for Life Science including WarmMark – a single use temperature indicator that notifies handlers about any adverse temperatures that occurred. To find out more about our new range for your temperature-sensitive goods, feel free to contact us today.

Pharmaceutical packaging should be convenient for consumers

While pharmaceutical packaging should be tamper-evident, it should also be convenient for customers to handle. After all, product packaging that offers convenience for users tends to be more widely accepted than those that do not.

This means that the ideal pharmaceutical packaging should not be excessively heavy or overly complicated as the market always appreciates simplicity and ease of use. Especially for medications that are being used daily, the packaging needs to be easy to open and reseal.

The best way to do this is by opting for a bespoke packaging solution that can be made to size and created as simple as it needs to be to provide convenience for the user, whilst still being made to provide some needed tamper-evidence.

pharmaceutical industry

Pharmaceutical packaging should provide proper labelling and instructions

Accurate labelling and usage instructions are essential when it comes to ideal pharmaceutical packaging. The package should have a clear label indicating the medication’s name, strength, as well as the dosage and frequency of usage. The label also needs to include any special storage or handling requirements.

The printing on any pharmaceutical packaging should be clear and legible so that handlers can immediately see how the product needs to be handled, and so the customer can easily identify the contents of the box.

Ideal Pharmaceutical Packaging from Swiftpak

As you can see, these are the key qualities that make for an ideal pharmaceutical package. Keeping these ideal qualities in mind, at Swiftpak we have the expertise to ensure that your pharmaceutical packaging is designed to meet expected requirements.

Please feel free to contact our friendly pharmaceutical packaging experts today to find out more on how we can help.