Primary packaging is the material that first packs and stores a product, in this case, a pharmaceutical product. It is usually the smallest piece of the product to be dispensed, and it is the packaging that is in direct contact with the contents. It is essential, for example, if you are packing hemp oil, you will need perfect hemp boxes.
Packaging is very important in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical types of packaging is highly regulated, and these regulations depend on the country or region of origin. All these regulations are placed for safety. Pharmaceutical packaging not only protects its contents from contamination but is often involved in the dispensing, metering, and use of the medicines it contains. Proper drug delivery and labeling of precautions are also regulated.
Packaging systems for pharmaceutical products
Packaging in the pharmaceutical industry varies from drug to drug, and generally, there are three levels of packaging, commonly referred to as primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging.
(1) The primary packaging system refers to the material that wraps the product in the first place, i.e., the packaging components and subcomponents. They actually come into contact with the product or may directly affect the product’s shelf life, such as ampoules and vials, prefilled syringes, IV syringes, blister packs, etc.
(2) Secondary packaging system is used to assemble primary packaging based on primary packaging, such as cartons, boxes, shipping containers, injection trays, etc.
(3) Tertiary packaging systems are used to handle and transport bulk materials such as drums, containers, edge protectors, etc.
The importance of packaging to pharmaceutical companies
The product packaging preserves the quality of the drug. It protects the product from physical damage and biodegradation. Some sensitive medicines need to be protected from light and waterproof because they contain sensitive substances. Pharmaceutical packaging must also convey important information. There should be adequate and clear labeling from where the buyer can obtain the correct information.
Product packaging must protect the medicinal product from contamination and any external influences that might alter the medicinal product’s properties. Packaging is important to any product. But in the pharmaceutical industry, it is essential given the nature of the product. Life-saving medicines and medicines require extreme care in a protective form. In addition, pharmaceutical products are subject to strict packaging regulations.
Type of packaging
There are multiple types of packaging available for medicine, and most of them come in custom packaging boxes nowadays. Below we have some of these types.
Ampoules are small, sealed ampoules made of Glass or, less commonly, plastic. They are used for liquid packaging medicines (usually injectables) and must be protected from air and other contaminants. Ampoules are sealed by melting the thin mouth of the bottle with an open flame, traditionally opened by breaking the neck of the bottle. Glass ampoules are more expensive than some other types of drug packaging.
These kinds of packaging are used for liquids, solids, or powders. Bottles usually have a flat bottom, unlike test tubes with a round base. They are generally larger than ampoules and have a larger capacity. For glass bottles, the cap can be a screw bottle (closed with a screw cap or dropper cap), a lip bottle (sealed with a plastic or cork stopper), or a crimped bottle (completed with a rubber or metal stopper). Plastic bottles can be molded from plastic, and other closure systems can be installed, such as “hinged closures” that close once squeezed.
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Blister packs are often used to store solid medications in balloon form. In Europe, 85% of single-dose reliable medicines are packaged in blister packs, while in North America, the figure is only around 20%. Blister packaging is a preformed package made of plastic, paper, or aluminum foil. The main component for these is thermoformed plastic cavity or pocket. It is usually closed by a cardboard base or a lid made of aluminum or plastic foil pierced by hand.
Bottles usually contain tablets, tablet-type capsules, and liquid medicines. Glass is most commonly used for liquids because of its high barrier properties. Plastics are most often used in tablets and capsules, especially prescription medicine bottles. It is because its color prevents UV damage to photosensitive contents while allowing enough visible light to pass through to make the contents easy to see.
Advantages of adequate pharmaceutical packaging.
Today, there is significant competition in all sectors. Therefore, the appearance and packaging of the product play an important role. Pharmaceutical packaging is used to persuade or persuade people to buy medicines and has many other functions. To ensure the safety of drugs, different types of packaging plays a significant role. Most important, however, is the material used for the packaging, as the drug product must be safe for the shelf life and not react with the container material.
The information and instructions on the packaging should be detailed, clear, and easy to read, making the packaging appear more effective and trustworthy. Adequate packaging of medicines is essential. Better medicine packaging benefits patients and increases consumer confidence in the relevant brand, which indirectly leads to an increase in sales.