6 trends in pharma packaging you need to know about

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Pharma packaging is evolving fast to better the patient experience. Keeping up with the new packaging trends is vital for the success of pharmaceutical companies, as it allows them to stay relevant and stay on track with consumer expectations and demands.

In this article, the packaging experts from Packlion will talk about the six rising trends in pharma packaging

What makes packaging so important?

Quality is key when we talk about medicine. But that statement is also valid for its pharmaceutical packaging. Pharma packaging is an integral part of medical products and is important for many reasons:

  • Helps patients distinguish different types of pharmaceutical products and brands
  • Serves to maintain the drug quality
  • Protects from external physical damage
  • Protects from biological degradation
  • Keeps medicine safe from exposure to liquids, light, and other substances
  • Contains crucial details on quantity, use, dosing, ingredients, warnings, side effects, allergic reactions, and safe disposal
  • Displays tracking information to ensure drug authenticity

As you can see, a pharmaceutical product without packaging could be quite unsafe and unreliable. But is traditional packaging enough or should pharma companies explore more up-to-date approaches and solutions? Keep on reading to find out. 

6 important trends in pharma packaging

1. Innovative packaging

Innovations in packaging machinery are at their peak. That leads to a lot of inventive and unusual packaging solutions with robotics and 3D printing. There are already some pharmaceutical packaging prototypes on the market, and we are only expecting the automation trends to continue.

3D printing is like a revolution in the packaging field, as it makes prototyping accessible and eliminates the need for outsourcing inner packaging. Pharmaceutical companies can 3D-print their own bottles and containers, which lowers the environmental footprint and extra charges associated with container and packaging logistics. 

On top of that, the innovative technology opens many doors to experiment with new, irregular, and odd shapes, sizes, and materials. 

2. Sustainability

Eco-conscious people and eco-aware companies are constantly looking for ways to lower their footprint, minimize waste and plastic pollution, stop wasting resources, and save the environment. Eco-friendly packaging is a wonderful solution to all these environmental problems and is a selling point for many customers. 

Switching to lightweight, biodegradable, and recyclable materials, made of renewable resources, is bound to make consumers happy, lower your shipping expenses and benefit the environment. The best eco-friendly materials to choose from for the outer pharma packaging are paper and cardboard. 

3. Serialized tracking and tracing 

This trend is all about drug safety, theft protection, and control. Pharmaceutical packaging needs to be compliant with the regional rules of serialized tracking. Typically, the manufacturer needs to create tracing codes in accordance with local regulations and display them on the pharma packaging.

The idea behind serialization is to confirm medicine authenticity, ensure medication traceability and stop drug theft and counterfeiting. Tracking drugs is also a great way to keep medication and patients accountable, as it is overseen by health authorities. 

4. Smaller batches

Another hot trend in pharma packaging right now is small product lots. And the reason is not as nature-related as you might think. While lowering the environmental footprint is a thing, small lots are actually an inventive way to catch up with innovative medicine.

Smaller batches are becoming a thing with the rise and development of biologics. It is safe to say, this is the future of pharmaceutical products and personalized drugs for cell and gene therapies. That eventually leads to higher demands for custom packaging to fit the tiny lot sizes. 

5. Patient engagement

When it comes to pharmaceutical packaging, it is important to put out products that engage the patients. That means the packaging should display information on drug compliance. It should clearly help with dosing management and overall – improve the medical treatment experience. 

To achieve that, pharma companies need to invest in the development of patient-friendly packaging with add-ons such as prefilled syringes, autoinjectors, or other easy-dosing devices.

6. Using smart technologies

Bringing smart tech (QR codes, NFC, Bluetooth) into packaging is a huge transformational step for pharmaceutical brands. And what is best – its incorporation in pharma packaging is way easier than it sounds.  

There are many perks of smart packaging. The incorporation of technologies in pharma packaging can help better manage stock supply, recognize spoiled products and follow patient demand trends. At the same time, smart packaging improves safety and vastly reduces logistics risks.

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