“According to the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council, pharmaceutical noncompliance is a tremendous problem in the U.S. – ‘Estimated annual costs [associated with] patients not taking their medications approaches $300 billion. It is also estimated that 125,000 Americans die annually (342 people every day) due to poor medication adherence and 10 – 25 percent of hospital and nursing home admissions are also caused by people’s inability to take their medications as prescribed’.”1
So why does this matter to the packaging industry? The industry cannot control the amount of medications an individual decides to take. This may be evolving. The industry has been taking great strides to redesign medication delivery systems so that patients can more easily take the recommended dosage of pharmaceutical drugs. Drug manufacturers and packaging companies are working together to change the way drugs are delivered to the consumer so that it is easier for them to take the correct dosage every time.
Blister Packs, individually packed pills or tablets, are one of the ways the pharmaceutical industry helps to monitor dosage adherence. With the customizability in design and material, blister packs can organize pills into days of the week or night and day pills making it easier for patients to remember to take the right amount of the right pill at the right time.
Another innovation to improve compliance is snap-in inserts or insert funnels that only allow one pill to be dispensed from a bottle at a time. This will make it easier for patients to take their medications with minimum effort. This also helps prevent spillage and possible accidental consumption by children. Smart packaging is considered a reliable and proven method for electronically capturing and analyzing patient adherence data. In addition, there are many great apps out there for smart phones and tablets, such as MedCoach, which can remind you what medication you need to take and when to take the medication.
- Kuehn, E. Steven. Packaging delivers: 2015 Pharma Packaging Trends. Pharmaceutical Packaging.com. http://www.pharmamanufacturing.com/articles/2015/pharmaceutical-packaging-delivers/?start=2. August 26, 2015