Glass has always been an important packing material for medicines and related products. It is used in many forms like bottles, trays, food containers and even canisters Companies which are still using plastic bottles or plastic canisters to pack medicines will soon have to stop their use. Many medicines are still been sold in plastic bottles – especially in case of liquid orals and syrups. The main reason for their being sold in plastic bottles or in a plastic canister is easy to use and durability.
However, amidst growing health and safety concerns, health experts are now strongly considering a ban on rapid use of plastic bottles, plastic containers, plastic trays, plastic canisters and similar kind of plastic packaging, due to its adverse effect on health. Though, there is still lack of scientific evidence claiming the associated health risk with the use of plastic. However, Health Advisory Bodies all over the world are debating ban on many such plastic bottles for medicines. Instead, glass packaging is encouraged for which health hazards are almost zero and there is no evident risk associated with contamination or spoilage of the content.
Glass packaging, mainly in the form of glass bottles was always considered to be a primary packaging material for the pharmaceutical industry. Though plastic is commonly used to pack other goods and products, glass was always the chosen material for keeping drugs. However, lately it was found that glass packaging was replaced with plastic since it is comparatively easier to handle while distribution and ultimate customer use. Companies started using plastic canisters, plastic bottles and even plastic food containers for storing drugs which was not at all healthy. However, studies reveal that glass packaging for medicines is always the best option, due to several reasons.
Here are some reasons why glass packaging should be a must for pharmaceutical packaging of materials:
Temperature Resistant– There are many countries which experience a huge variation in temperature. Summer temperature can be really high and this is when the main risk arises. Syrups in plastic bottles or tablets and capsules in plastic containers can have adverse health effects. The formulated drug in the container can get leached. The drug packaged will have increased harmful effects due to plastic packaging and leachability which can sometimes be really fatal. To avoid all such complications and save patients from all such unknown risks, glass packaging is now thought to be the only solution for pharmaceutical industry.
Importance Of Packaging In Drug Manufacturing
Packaging is an important part of drug manufacturing and its marketing process. Use of glass packaging instead of other cheaper alternatives might have some adverse effects on revenue generation to bottle making companies or others involved, drug manufacturers need to do this to ensure their drug effectiveness and maintain consumer health. No compromise on consumer health should be ever made.
Colored Glass Containers for Medicines
Colored glass containers should be used instead of plastic bottles, plastic trays or plastic canisters. These glass containers are ideal for storing drugs which offer complete protection to the medicines from light. In order to make these bottles decorative and attractive, special colors are often used which includes opal, blue and emerald green. Red glass and amber glass are the two specific colors that help in protecting the medicine from the ultraviolet rays of the sun which is quite harmful. In order to make the glass containers light protection, glass has to provide protection to as much as 2900 to 4500 angstroms of light. This is easily met by amber glass.
Any kind of glass packaging which is used for storing drugs undergoes many changes before use, to make it completely fit for storing the medicine, so that there is no compromise on the health of the user. NF and USP describe the many different types of glass which can be used by the packaging industry. Glass undergoes several types of tests before it is used in packaging ( no tests are carried out on plastic trays, plastic food containers or plastic canisters) – these tests include powdered glass test as well as water attack tests which helps in evaluating chemical resistance of the material. All such test results helps in analyzing the strength and durability of the material under various circumstances, which make it just perfect for use.
Glass Containers used in packing medicines needs to fulfill different types of conditions to make them suitable for use. The main purpose for any kind of packaging is to protect the content from environment, especially protecting it from any kind of damage from the environment. Glass offers every kind of physical as well chemical stability to the medicine which is needed during transportation.
This explains why more and more companies are now switching over to glass to store medicines in the long run.