Pharmaceutical packaging

Pharmaceutical packaging is the packages and the packaging processes for pharmaceutical preparations. It involves all of the operations from production through drug distribution channels to the end consumer.

1. Primary Packaging: This is the first packaging envelope which is in touch with the dosage form or equipment. The packaging needs to be such that there is no interaction with the drug and will provide proper containment of pharmaceuticals. E.g. Blister packages, Strip packages, etc.

 2. Secondary Packaging: This is consecutive covering or package which stores pharmaceuticals packages in it for their grouping. E.g. Cartons, boxes, etc.

3. Tertiary packaging: This is to provide bulk handling and shipping of pharmaceuticals from one place to another. E.g. Containers, barrels, etc.

Blister packs

Formed solid unit doses of pharmaceuticals (capsules, suppositories, tablets, etc.) are commonly packed in blister packs. In Europe about 85% of solid unit doses are packed in blister packs with only about 20% in North America. Blister packs are pre-formed plastic/paper/foil packaging used for formed solid drugs. The primary component of a blister pack is a cavity or pocket made from a thermoformed plastic. This usually has a backing of paperboard or a lidding seal of aluminum foil or plastic film. Blister packs are useful for protecting drugs against external factors, such as humidity and contamination for extended periods of time. Blister packing machinery is readily available and is suited to validation processes.

Bottles

Bottles are commonly used for liquid pharmaceuticals as well as formed tablets and capsules. Glass is most common for liquids because it is inert and has excellent barrier properties. Various types of plastic bottles are used both by drug producers as well as by pharmacists in a pharmacy. Prescription bottles have been around since the 19th century. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, prescription medication bottles were called medicinal bottles. There are many styles and shapes of prescription bottles. Prescription bottles come in several different colors, the most common of which being orange or light brown due to its ability to prevent ultraviolet light from degrading the potentially photosensitive contents through photochemical reactions.

 

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