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Pharmaceutical Packaging and its role in the opioid epidemic

Medication packaging is a delicate business. Not only does it need to be handled with care, but it’s also imperative to keep it safe and away from children or vulnerable people. The type of packaging each medicine needs is selected based on the type, form, product quantity, and how the medicine is dispensed while keeping in mind the intended end-user. Usually, drugs come in the form of liquids, solids, or gas phases, and packaging must be picked with this in mind and their long-term safety.  

The packaging is generally divided into blister packs, tubes, bottles (plastic or glass), jars, plastic bags, and syringes. Even though glass has historically been the material of choice for bottle packaging, mainly because it does not react with the drugs contained in it, plastic has become more popular over time due to its lower cost, durability, and flexibility in molding.

A bottle closure is one of the essential packaging features due to its risk when falling into the wrong hands, such as children, or taken in the incorrect quantity. That is why regulations invented and implemented child-resistant caps (i.e., ISO 8317). Closures also protect the contents from spoiling. Aside from the press-down and twist type of cap, standard closures include pumps or atomizers, screw tops, etc.

Since the opioid epidemic has become one of the most challenging issues of the modern-day medical era, packaging has become a big part of the efforts to reduce unnecessary exposure to opioids. In addition, the FDA has stated.

The packaging of medication plays a crucial role in ensuring the product’s safety and preventing access to it by vulnerable individuals. The selection of packaging is based on factors such as the type and form of medication, the quantity, and the intended end-user. Options for packaging include blister packs, tubes, bottles, jars, plastic bags, and syringes, with plastic becoming more popular due to its cost-effectiveness and flexibility. Bottle closures are an essential aspect of packaging, with child-resistant caps being a critical regulatory requirement to prevent accidental ingestion. In response to the opioid epidemic, efforts have been made to reduce unnecessary exposure to opioids by using fixed-quantity blister packaging and other unique packaging requirements while maintaining appropriate access for needy patients. to “request information on requiring fixed-quantity blister packaging for certain opioid pain medicines. The SUPPORT Act allows the FDA to require special packaging for opioids and other drugs that pose a risk of abuse or overdose.” The goal is to “take action to promote more rational prescribing practices of opioids and reduce the rate of new addiction while maintaining appropriate access for patients who need these drugs.”

Med Supply Lab has experienced specialists and the technical capabilities to provide end-to-supply chain management. We manufacture our own products which has significantly reduced the delivery time and has allowed us to have an impact in helping the medical institutions that deal with the opioid epidemic. 


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