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Pharmaceutical Packaging

This article retraces the history of packaging - how it originated, what are its characteristics and trends for the future - to understand how it became a key issue for the pharmaceutical market.

In our previous articles we have already discussed packaging issues. The topic has been explored with new trends for the year and especially new trends for pharmaceutical packaging. In this article, we will explain to you additional but essential concepts to know everything you need about pharmaceutical packaging!

The English term "packaging" is commonly used as a substitute to "packing", but compared to that, it has a much broader meaning. Nowadays, in fact, the concept of packaging refers to the design and industrialization process before the sale, rather than to the actual package. The main functions of the packaging are to contain, safeguard the integrity and ensure the optimal aesthetic presentation of goods. Those involved in developing the packaging of a product should constantly try to balance desired performance and cost of the product and also the choice of materials and packing times. There are three different types of packaging:

  • primary, intended for the sale of individual units to the end user;
  • secondary (or multiple packaging) containing multiple sales units;
  • tertiary, useful for the transport of various sales units or multiple packaging.

But let's go into detail and focus on packaging for the pharmaceutical market. It's important to know that primary and secondary packaging have a significant direct effect on the efficient management in the medical-hospital field.

Packaging in the pharmaceutical industry

This specific sector, where the primary packaging is in direct contact with the medicine, includes a wide range of containers and tools, such as:

  • Bottles
  • Pills jars
  • Containers for injections
  • Blister packs for medicines in solid form
  • Closures and caps

In the pharmaceutical industry, there are three specific functions:

  • Primary packaging: it has to guarantee safety. It's a double protection to avoid possible damages to the medical content. This feature is also very important to prevent all possible tampering that the medicine could suffer, for example if and when children drop it.
  • Secondary packaging: it meets the need to connect the packaging with several information which guide the user in the approach to the medicine.
  • Tertiary packaging: the identification. Packaging has to make the medicine recognizable as such, among other different product categories and other medical products as well.

Moreover, the type of product must be considered in the production process of the pharmaceutical packaging. In fact, medicines are divided according to their form: liquid, solid or mixed; this influences the choice of the material and the shape of the package.

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