From a very young age most of us have been told to not judge a book by its cover, or some version of that cliche. While it’s good advice and a good sentiment, especially for how we treat others, it’s not exactly how we approach buying products. A product’s packaging is nearly as important (if not as important) as the product within it, in that good packaging can make or break a sale. And beyond just marketing, different types of packaging are better suited for certain products. For instance, bottle packaging is often used to contain pharmaceutical drugs that require several frequent doses, while blister packaging is often used for drugs that require fewer doses, or that need to be closely monitored.
Other methods of packaging are also used for pharmaceutical and medical packaging, though bottle and blister packaging are the most common. Even if we’re told otherwise, packaging does matter, in terms of branding and functionality. Here are some reasons why bottle and blister packaging are used, and the different advantages to each method.
There are many kinds of bottle packaging designs , but when it comes to medical products, most have lids that are secure and childproof in some way. Some bottle have cops that need to be squeezed inward on opposite sides, then twisted. Others need to be pushed downward while being twisted in order to open. While either of these measures are mostly effective at keeping children out of the bottle, they aren’t 100% childproof. Lids can break, be improperly closed, and the bottles themselves can be broken.
In addition to childproof lids, an advantage of bottle packaging is ease of access. It takes very little effort to open a bottle and grab or pour out the necessary contents. Bottles also save on plastic, as it doesn’t take much plastic to produce a hollow container. And, of course, they can be reused for future medicine or for storing something else. It’s always wise to thoroughly clean the container before reusing it, of course.
Like bottle packages, there are many kinds of blister packaging designs. Blister packages always form fit to the product they hold. Most toothbrushes, for instance, reside in a toothbrush-shaped blister package. So when it comes to medical blister packaging, the design depends on the shape and size of the drug, as well as the amount of pills within a package. Some of these packages contain perforated divisions between each blister, allowing one to detach the individual plastic unit from the whole for ease of use.
One of the main advantages of medical blister packaging is that it safely secures the medicine in an air-tight cell, ensuring freshness and quality. Additionally, while these packages aren’t necessarily fully childproof, it’s very difficult for a child to break open a blister package (many adults even have some trouble with this).
The other advantage to this type of packaging is that it’s much easier to keep track of what you’re ingesting. With loose pills in a bottle, it’s easy to lose pills, take the wrong amount, and forget what you’ve already taken. With blister packaging, the evidence is in the space left behind by either tearing out a perforated section or poking a whole in the blister.
Blister packages are often enclosed within a cardboard carton. All of this material is necessary for proper packaging, including space for instructions and branding, but it can seem wasteful, especially considering it can’t be reused the way a bottle can. Nevertheless, these materials can be recycled and eventually turned into more packaging, so the extra material isn’t a total waste.
Even if we take packaging for granted, we make many decisions based on it. Both bottle packaging and blister packaging have their advantages and disadvantages, and they both remain the best methods of containing pharmaceuticals both over the counter and prescribed.