It’s not just a box

At first glance pharmaceutical packaging such as a tablet carton or medicine bottle appears to be the simplest of things. However, the humble package serves multiple and varied needs and increasingly includes a surprising range of technology. Reddie & Grose LLP’s Zack Mummery, Dale Carter and Andy Attfield explain more.

LET US LOOK first at the role of packaging in terms of product safety and patient compliance. Pharmaceutical packaging may seem like an area that experiences little innovation, with tablets often dispensed in blister packs within simple cartons. However, we are now seeing developments to packaging technology that assist with patient compliance, safety and quality control, together with developments that help distinguish products in the marketplace.

Innovative carton systems have been developed with child-resistant properties and tamper-evident features so that a consumer knows if packaging has been opened. Often these features can be built into the carton structure; however, requirements for automated high‑speed assembly and the need to keep production costs competitive constrains carton design and challenges designers. It is thus unsurprising that a carton that overcomes these challenges to provide tamper‑evident and child‑resistant functionality can potentially be patentable.

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