Packaging Innovation
pharmaceutical packaging design tips
July 11, 2016

3 key challenges for pharmaceutical packaging designers

Designing packaging for pharmaceutical products is no easy feat. This article discusses key challenges pharmaceutical packaging designers are currently facing (next to GMP compliance).

Pharmaceutical packaging design over the years

In the 1960s and 1970s, the pharmaceutical industry focused mainly on product innovation, and not much thought was given to packaging design. From the 1980s to turn of the 21st century, packaging became more important in the sense that pharmaceutical packaging designers were mainly charged with improving logistics efficiency. From the year 2000 onwards, the emphasis on logistics shifted once more. Pharmaceutical packaging designers today find themselves faced with three key challenges:
  • Improving user-friendliness
  • Improving patient compliance
  • Improving supply chain safety

1.     User-friendly pharmaceutical packaging design

Making sure a pharmaceutical packaging design is easy to open and close (and remain closed) is one thing, but designing user-friendly pharmaceutical packaging also implies translating technical specifications into a packaging that enables consumers of all ages, cognitive abilities and nationalities to grasp what the product can and can’t do for them.

2.     Packaging design that improves patient compliance

The influence packaging design can have on the effectiveness of a patient’s treatment is not to be underestimated. Studies have shown that if packaging is not user-friendly (difficult to open or use) or if the instructions featured are confusing, patient compliance is at risk. In a bid to manufacture pharmaceutical packaging that communicates to patients as clearly as possible, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly turning to focus groups to put their packaging designs to the test before launching them.

3.     The fight against counterfeit drugs

Preventing the distribution of counterfeit drugs is beyond a doubt the most important item on the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda right now. To safeguard the consumer’s health, pharmaceutical packaging designers are using special security labels, some of them even subtly sprinkled with diamond dust to stay ahead of the counterfeiting game.     Inspired by PharmTech