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Compliance Enhancing Packaging

Pharmaceutical non-compliance is the biggest problem in patient care worldwide. Many factors are attributed to non-compliance including improper labeling, memory problems in elderly and child-resistant packaging which the elderly find difficult to use, etc. This warrants the need to develop compliance enhancing formats which help patients to take their medications properly.

Compliance Features
People from all focus group have come to the conclusion that compliance packaging is highly effective in helping patients manage their medication regimens. Another reason for increasing interest in compliance packaging is the transition of some drugs from multidose to one dose per day or even one dose a week. With such modified dosage forms compliance becomes more critical because skipping a single doze could turn crucial.

The most significant compliance packs are unit-dose blisters, especially carded blisters, which have the advantage of providing sufficient space for instructions on how and when to take medication.

Compliance Packaging One of the best compliance feature would be a chart or a device that indicates the dosage used and when the dosage was taken. The use of heat-seal cards enhance the ability as they allow a large billboard for displaying time and sequence instructions. Bar codes are becoming essential in case of multi-dose and multi-strength packaging. They help to identify the correct medication for the correct patient and also to verify their correct strengths. Clinical trial packagings are also compliance dependant.

Another feature is child-resistant senior friendly compliance enhancing packaging. Such features are complicated as sometimes child-resistant senior friendly (CR-SF) requirement and compliance requirements are complimentary. In United States of America, developing compliance packaging is tricky because of the CR-SF regulations. However, this can be achieved using secondary packaging, such as cards.

Unit Dose Blister
Studies indicate that unit dose calendar packs are more compliance enhancing as compared to bottles or other non-calendar packs. Blister packaging with calendar-like features can enhance compliance.

Unit Dose Blister In case of bottles with outserts, manufacturers are not sure whether their consumers actually read the instructions. If they use a fold over card with a blister, it is easier for them to get their message across to the end user. If the cost of the package is not a problem, then newer formats of a blister within a die-cut board are compliant, child-resistant and senior friendly.

Insurance companies and managed care organizations are not the only ones to bear the economic burden from pharmaceutical non-compliance; every person has a share in it, in the form of higher taxes, premiums and lost productivity. For manufacturers, these are value added services, as better compliance will lead to higher sales. In case of patient, being compliant will decrease their chances of being admitted to hospitals. Also compliance helps to reduce health care cost considerably. Thus, the day is not far when consumer will have a choice when they get their prescriptions filled - either the standard cap and vial format or a compliance style unit dose package attributed - which will help them to take their medications properly.

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