The pharmaceutical industry develops and produces a huge range of medicines and pharmaceuticals used by customers on a daily basis. When you think of pharmaceuticals, you might just think of medicines in the form of pills, when in reality it includes syrups, creams and liquids, among other products. Pharmaceutical packaging is, therefore, quite varied.
Types of pharmaceutical packaging
With a range of products comes a range of packaging, each best suited to different pharmaceuticals.
Dropper bottles and lids are best suited to small quantity liquid pharmaceuticals such as eye drops and ear drops. Useful for administering measured doses of liquid, droppers are available in sizes up to 30ml, in both plastic and glass. Small and lightweight, droppers are convenient to take with you anywhere.
Skin care pharmaceuticals are often packaged in jars. Jars in pharmaceutical packaging are most often used for creams. Available with both pumps and screw on lids, jars allow easy dispensing and application of creams. Often made from polypropylene, but also from glass, pharmaceutical jars come in a number of sizes. Fine mist sprayers are another form of packaging often used for skin care pharmaceuticals.
Bottles make good packaging for pills and syrups, although the material for these products differs. Glass bottles are best for liquids, as the glass is impermeable, meaning no risk of contamination for the pharmaceuticals stored inside. Plastic bottles are more often used for pills, providing lightweight, transportable packaging that allows you to take your pills with you.
As well as packaging a product for the shelf, pharmaceutical packaging has two protective functions: to protect the product inside, and to protect the people who may come into contact with it. Manufacturers of pharmaceutical packaging achieve these goals through a number of key features.
1. Light resistant
Many pharmaceuticals are sensitive to climatic conditions, such as temperature, humidity, precipitation and solar radiation. In particular, pharmaceuticals are often light sensitive, so in order to protect products from damage, pharmaceutical glass bottles are usually brown in colour, enabling the bottle’s dark colour to reduce the effect light can have on products. Light resistant brown glass bottles are a common packaging choice for pharmaceuticals such as cough syrups.
2. Child Resistant Closure caps
Most plastic and glass bottles for pharmaceutical packaging can be purchased with Child Resistant Closure (CRC) caps. Designed to prevent children from ingesting harmful products and accidental poisoning, CRC caps can only be opened when a strong push and twist motion are applied simultaneously. As this requires a high level of coordination, it’s normally extremely difficult for children to open bottles with CRC caps. CRC caps are ideal for pill bottle packaging.
3. Tamper evident sealing
To guarantee the safety and integrity of the product inside, most pharmaceutical packaging is available with a ‘tamper evident’ seal. This seal ensures that the product has not been altered with since leaving the manufacturer – vital for pharmaceutical packaging.
Although not essential for every product, most pharmaceutical products must be packaged with CRC caps and tamper evident seals to comply with industry regulations. These regulations ensure that safety measures such as CRC caps and tamper evident seals are effective, and allow customers to have peace of mind when it comes to their pharmaceutical products.