Packaging Innovation
3 ways pharmaceutical packaging can help patients self-inject
December 1, 2017

3 ways pharmaceutical packaging can help patients self-inject

While self-injection is an ongoing trend in the pharmaceutical industry – more than 3.5 prefilled auto-injectors are produced worldwide each year – a recent study by the University of Texas Medical Branch found that a whopping 84 percent of patients fail to properly self-inject. In a bid to boost patient compliance, more and more pharmaceutical manufacturers are investing in patient-centric training tools including specially adapted syringe packaging designs.

Boosting patient confidence and compliance

As most patients, who are often elderly, fail to self-inject simply because they have forgotten how to or because they suffer from anxiety or a lack of self-confidence, pharmaceutical companies have set out to turn their packaging designs into educational resources that reduce training decay while also decreasing anxiety and boosting patient confidence in at least three different ways:

1.     Syringe packaging stimulating multiple senses

Studies have shown that the more senses a packaging design triggers, the stronger its message is encoded in the brain. Hence, manufacturers are increasingly wrapping prefilled auto-injectors in packaging that not only consists of visuals but also includes auditory scripts.

2.     Anticipating common mistakes

Including technology in pharmaceutical packaging designs also enables companies to highlight specific sequences of the administration process and correct patients before they make a mistake. One commonly made error which most manufacturers anticipate to is so-called ‘wet injection’, where patients fail to administer the full dose. To ensure patients receive the correct dose, manufacturers include dose completion signals in the form of visual, tactile or audible feedback or a combination.
  • Did you know? Wet injections comprise 76 percent of all self-injection errors.

3.     Interactive pharmaceutical packaging design

Some manufacturers have even adopted an interactive approach by including visual or auditory sensors which let the patient know when they’ve made a mistake. Furthermore, the sensors prevent the patient from moving forward in the self-administration process until they’ve gotten the previous step right.

Patient compliance and GMP go hand in hand

Are you still struggling to make sure your pharmaceutical packaging design not only ensures patient safety, but will also be GMP compliant by 2018? Many pharmaceutical manufacturers are implementing dedicated management systems as we speak to ensure all their labeling and packaging artwork will make the cut in the coming year.   Inspired by Packaging Digest