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‘Smart’ Packaging Is Creating a Safer Future for Pharmaceuticals

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The word ‘smart’ has become a more desired word over the last few years, with it applying to cars, phones or even your home. However, more recently it has even been associated with packaging.

This type of packaging refers to the food and pharmaceuticals, and smart packaging fits into two designations; active and intelligent. Some packaging has been designed to collect data and communicate with the user, for example, alerting the consumer of an upcoming sell-by date.

In 2015, a WhaTech report predicted that over the forthcoming years the global smart packaging market would increase dramatically, meaning the technologies that make up smart packaging have the potential to deliver significant value to businesses and consumers alike.

Smart packaging has become increasingly popular in the pharmaceutical market. Anything that can be done to increase patient safety and help grow a brand’s reputation will be taken seriously within the industry. Over the next few years, we believe that the pharmaceutical market will grow even further due to smart packaging and biotechnology-based drugs.

With the increase of pharmaceuticals with high moisture sensitivity, there will be a boost for moisture control packaging, and the need for packaging which can provide reminders, will become more popular as the population age and more people require medicines on a daily basis.

More importantly, one of the greatest threats to patient safety and the pharmaceutical industry are counterfeit drugs and them being tampered with. Smart packaging and the assistance of polyolefin shrink wrap can address this issue through a number of innovative initiatives.

Dr Alan McClleland, business manager at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, said: “The ability to integrate printed sensors into pharmaceutical packaging opens up a host of opportunities for the industry both in improving patient care and the logistics associated with the product life cycle. Going forward the key is to develop new innovative products and technologies to market volumes and price points that facilitate mass market adoption.”

It is essential that pharmaceuticals are untampered when a customer purchases the product. This can be prevented by incorporating polyolefin shrink wrap within the packaging. It will help secure the lid of the container so it cannot be accidentally loosened or purposely removed and replaced. By shrink wrapping the product, it will be able to let you know if the box or product has been tampered with before it is passed to a patient or customer.


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