The numbers are daunting – 15% of the global population suffers from hearing loss, including a significant number of children, teenagers, and the elderly. Hearing loss presents a growing public health problem, due to ageing and an urban way of life that features excessive noise exposure.

The average cost of bringing a new drug to market is $2.6 billion, according to a 2014 report published by Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. This is a rise of 145%, adjusted for inflation, compared to just a decade earlier and is driven in part by the increasing complexity of clinical trials.

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies within the United States and Europe face an increasing number of hurdles when undertaking clinical trials within their own country or region; problems such as over saturated patient pools, difficulties meeting and maintaining enrollment numbers, increasing costs and lengthy time delays.

Stem cell science has made huge progress since the early 1960s when Canadian researchers James Till and Ernest McCulloch discovered blood stem cells and advanced medical research across the globe.

Despite the wide array of information systems available for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, we need to adopt a “follow-the-workflow” approach to overcome the process inefficiencies generated by quality and production silos.

In late 2015, I was approached by the board of Nativis, take on the leadership of the company, by then a 13-year-old “startup.”

CURE Pharmaceutical has developed innovative drug delivery technology in CureFilm, an oral film strip that dissolves in the mouth, allows for multiple active ingredients in one dosage, and features higher bioavailability.

In recent years the pharmaceutical industry has seen a significant change to the way its manufacturersand supply chains operate, due to the establishment of several serialization and track and trace regulations mandated globally.

Patient-centricity has become an important focus for drug developers and an essential element of clinical studies aimed at showing that a new therapy addresses real patient needs. How companies define patient-centric trials sometimes differ.

Clinical trials are evolving away from trials based solely at investigator sites, moving on to the patient’s home, requiring direct-to-patient services in order for patients to participate.

Life Science companies, both large and small, are seeking more strategic partnerships with vendors.

Worldwide, around 47 million people have dementia, and there are 9.9 million new cases every year, according to recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO)1.Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases.

1. What makes the market demand rising for integrated delivery system?
The market demand for integrated delivery systems which combine an injectable drug, its container and the system used to administer it—continues to grow due, in large part, to the popularity of self-administered therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

A method of testing drugs thatprompt the immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells has been developed which can speed up drug discovering andreducethe unnecessary use of mice in drug screening programmes.

Orphan genetic diseases have become an increasingly popular area for drug development through a variety of novel mechanistictherapeutic approaches.

Automation in its broadest sense has expanded from its original industrial manufacturing base to laboratories and businesses.

The deadlines for serialisation compliance in the EU and the U.S. are drawing closer. For many pharmaceutical companies, the journey towards implementing a full serialisation solution is well underway, but for others the complexity of the task means that there is still a lot to do. 

At the discovery and early stages of drug development, the aim is to evaluate the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and toxicology of a compound using a simple liquid formulation.

The last decade has seen an increased emphasis on research and development into personalized medicines, including cell, gene and immunotherapy treatments 

Today, the chief purpose of primary packaging is product protection. However this performance capability has become more challenging in recent years as the complexity of active pharmaceuticals and their supply chain increases.

Regenerative and cell-based therapies have only recently begun to deliver on the promise they have portended for years, creating opportunities to positively impact patient outcomes and professional success.

Managing site payments is not an easy task. They are frustrating, burdensome and a drain of time and resources. CROs, specifically project managers, are often tasked by their sponsor partners to manage the site payment process and consequently are deemed at fault for any issues that arise, such as late or inaccurate payments.

The problem defined: Any prospective new drug must successfully pass a succession of three clinical trials phases, before it can apply for market approval.

Quality by Design (QbD) is a concept that has become mainstream in the pharmaceutical manufacturing space in recent years.

The QCS EV 100 litre top loading autoclave is among the most space-efficient sterilisers available and will appeal to lab managers for their superior loading capability.

A look at how pharmaceutical manufacturers can benefit from the use of dynamic checkweighing technology to comply with international standards, increase process safety, productivity and process control.

Type 2 diabetes awareness is rising in the United States. Public and private health leaders are now offering screenings and patient education sites that discuss “prediabetes,” to detect and treat the disease in its earliest stages.

Clinical research generates extensive amounts of data, yet most of it is siloed or generally unavailable to a larger pool of willing potential researchers.

Finding suitable patients to participate in clinical trials is a long complicated process taking months today.The emergence of electronic hospital records (EHRs) in a hospital information system (HIS) allows this process to be automated and accelerated.

When unplanned events such as weather delays cause product spoilage, it’s easy for healthcare executives to react by instituting an across-the-board increase in insulation material.

The impact of the DataMatrix code in the pharmaceutical industry has been immense. Offering high standards of data quantity and security, this two-dimensional matrix barcode has become the standard code carrier for a number of regional and country-specific serialization initiatives.

Although it may not be the first component that comes to mind when thinking of a pharmaceutical package, closure liners play a critical role in delivering tamper-evidence, supporting product integrity and protecting the package during the distribution cycle.

For the pharmaceutical industry, keeping all regulatory requirements is a top priority not only in development and production, but also for the storage and distribution of drugs, active substances and medical products.

January 1, 2015 initiates a step-wise supply chain mobilization towards a new era of pharmaceutical product serialization in the US. The US is not the first country to institute measures to control suspect and illegitimate drugs.

Historically, artwork for the packaging and labeling of pharmaceutical products has been the final part of a long process to get a product ready for market. All too often, it was treated as a rushed after-thought.

The biopharma market is in the early stages of its next transformation. Clinical pipelines are being filled with increasingly intricate targets and medicines, including next generation cell and gene therapies, an emerging field known as regenerative medicine.

Blow/Fill/Seal (BFS), Technology is not new in the sterile manufacturing of drug products, but often the true value of this automated advanced aseptic filling method is over looked.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that “increasing the effectiveness of adherence interventions may have a far greater impact on the health of the world population than any improvement in medical treatment.” If this is true, then packaging will play an integral role in the future of human health.

With nearly 140 years of success, Henkel holds globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial sectors and is well known for brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. In itsworldwide operating business area“Laundry & Home Care”,Henkel was searching for an optimal dosing solution for their products. 

Biofortuna Ltd, a UK-based diagnostics company offering molecular diagnostic products and contract manufacturing services, has successfully achieved key milestones in the development of its new blood group genotyping product family ReadyPlex™.

Videojet launches new solvent ink with enhanced adhesion on non-porous consumer packaged goods

Level EX, a technology company that is bringing state-of-the-art visual effects from the video game industry to the field of medicine, announced their official launch.

At Pharma Expo 2016, Bosch Packaging Technology, a leading supplier of process and packaging technology, will showcase the most recent version of the fully automated FLT vial filling and closing machine. For the first time, the machine will be shown with an isolator.

Getting the most out of processing and packagingmachinery through comprehensive training.
Most up-to-date processing andpackaging machinery play an important role in succeeding in the pharmaceutical industry. But even the newest equipment cannot unlock its full potential when it is not handled and maintained the right way.

How the once-conservative pharmaceutical companies are learning from the FMCG industry
The days of the patent-protected blockbusters among the pharma giants are behind us, and the realities of demographic shifts, spiraling healthcare costs, global economic crises and generics growth are causing the whole industry to re-think the traditional business models.

The packaging of pharmaceuticals must fulfil growing requirements.The focus lies onformats that are optimally adapted to each product, an attractive androbust design as well as high safety standards. Folding cartons provide an ideal and creative solution for demanding packaging.

By Jochen Ulrich Scheil , Managing Director, Uhlmann Packaging Systems (Shanghai) Co Ltd
With its sheer size of 1.364 Billion population the China Pharmaceutical market offers huge opportunities as more and more people gain access to medicine, not only Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but also more and more Western medicine, which is produced in huge volumes. That’s why China has become the most important as well as the biggest market for the use of high speed blister packaging machines.

After several years of annual GDP growth rates beyond 10% the Chinese economy has now slowed down and will be transformed from a mainly manufacturing focused industry into a more service / consumption based industry with a GDP growth rate estimated with 7% for 2015 – the lowest in two decades, but a figure other Western countries only can dream of. 

Chinese Pharmaceutical companies are taking a more careful approach in investing; as such modest growth is also influencing the financial markets hence companies will think twice before investing also caused by a less favorable exchange rate when buying equipment from European manufacturers.  On the other hand there is a strong need for a lot of Pharmaceutical companies - both multinational and local - to upgrade their blister packaging equipment and to replace it with more efficient and reliable equipment in order to meet the strict cGMP guidelines set by the local authorities. 

But this modest and hopefully sustainable growth also brings opportunities for all European blister machine manufacturers as pharmaceutical companies need to become more flexible and need to produce smaller batches instead of high volumes of one product only. There are very suitable solutions – so called Blister Express Center’s - available from the world’s market leader of blister packaging machinery, who have been the right answers to this changing demand for medium batch sizes. 



But still the demand for higher speed / large batch sizes and flexible blister packaging machines persists. A trend that will continue in the Chinese Pharma market as the population is getting older hence there is a need to take medicine for a longer period of time. 


A growing number of large local Pharmaceutical companies understood this need already many years ago and begun to replace their old blister packaging equipment or to upgrade it to the latest technology available, all with the aim to extend the life span of the equipment. Currently there are Pharmaceutical companies in China using blister packaging equipment from the world’s market leader for more than 25 years and they do not plan to retire such reliable equipment. 

The majority of the pharmaceutical packaging equipment used in China is designed to pack products in blister. In USA such products are mostly packed in bottles using e.g. so called Integrated Bottle Center’s (IBC) which offer a compact alternative to blister packaging lines.  

Another trend which can be foreseen is the demand for efficient and highly automated equipment. A requirement, which only few of the leading blister packaging machinery manufactures are able to fulfill. Rising labor costs in the big cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, etc. force the pharma companies to rethink about the way they manufacture, not only to be more competitive, but to me more productive making more out of their existing equipment. Quality of the packaging material, machine availability and efficiency as well as operating procedures have a big influence in the overall equipment efficiency. Some European manufacturers even offer a detailed production analysis for their customers in order to find out where to improve.

Shortage of skilled labor is becoming a major issue for all pharmaceutical companies, as they can retain their staff only through intensive training and constant education offered by the manufacturer of such packaging equipment. Smart Operating systems/panels which are easy to use (like your smart phone) will help the staff to run the equipment more efficiently and also guide them with possible solutions in case there is a problem. Such kind of smart solutions gain popularity among machine manufacturers as they are offered also in local languages which makes it easier for the less skilled staff to operate easily.

Due to requirements of the Food & Drug Administration in China it is mandatory to apply a 2D-Barcode on each carton so that the product can be tracked and traced throughout the manufacturing process, logistics chain until it has reached the final point of sale, the pharmacy. Such technical requirements can only be met by intelligent Track & Trace Systems integrated into the blister packaging equipment which work on machine level, but also can be linked to the production site and even to a global system commonly used by multinational pharmaceutical companies. A lot of efforts are made in order to reduce counterfeits so that the patient can be sure to take an Original product.


The Chinese Pharmaceutical market remains very dynamic and challenging, but those companies offering the right pharmaceutical packaging equipment and having a hardworking, dedicated service team established locally based on the principle “in China and for China” will be able to benefit from the opportunities offered in one of the world’s biggest Pharma markets.

Personal data   Jochen Ulrich Scheil 
                        Managing Director
                        Uhlmann Packaging Systems (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

Company Description
Uhlmann, founded in 1948, is a leading supplier and trendsetter for pharmaceutical packaging machinery as well as solutions to optimize the pharmaceutical packaging process. Thanks to a range of products that has helped shape the industry, many reputable pharmaceutical companies are Uhlmann customers. Multum non multa; quality not quantity: the company’s success confirms that Uhlmann’s strategy to concentrate solely on the pharmaceutical industry is correct. We offer best support through our qualified and experienced staff.

Our Vision: Strong, Open-minded, Reliable


Author Description 
Mr. Jochen Scheil, Managing Director of Uhlmann Packaging Systems (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. , has almost 20 years of experience in Sales and Management, joined Uhlmann since 2010. He has been successfully setting up and managing the Group Company in Shanghai, Sales & Service of Pharmaceutical blister packaging equipment to the Pharmaceutical Industry, Establishment of Beijing Branch Office, Expansion of Sales, Service and Engineering Department, Participation in final negotiations with Sales Team, Handling of Key Accounts (Big Pharma), Participating in local Exhibitions and other marketing activities, Performance Monitoring, Representing the German based Group Company KOCH (active in non-Pharma packaging industry) in China.



By Daniel Canton, Dr. Daniel Haines, Dr. Uwe Rothhaar, SCHOTT pharma services
As the demands that are being placed on the quality and stability of medications continue to increase, the interactions that take place between the primary packaging container and filled drug product are becoming increasingly important. Even primary packaging that has been manufactured and stored properly can release substances into the drug formulation. For this reason, pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to conduct extensive studies on “Extractables” and “Leachables” (E&L). 

Packaging systems often consist of many different components and materials, like glass, metal, plastic, rubber, adhesives or lubricants. Extractables are determined by subjecting the packaging material to aggressive conditions such as different solvents at elevated temperature for extended times, resulting in substances that elutefrom these packaging systems.

By contrast, Leachables are substances that migrate into a pharmaceutical formulation under normal preparation and storage conditions.Leachablesareusually, but not always,asubgroupofExtractables:for instance,asubstancecontained in the drug product formulation can react with a constituent contained in the packaging and form an entirely new species that is later identified in a leachable study, but would not be present in an extractable study.

The primary sources of”organic” Extractables and Leachables areelastomeric and polymeric materials likerubber and plastics,because they contain additivesthat allow for them to have beneficial properties, such as greater chemical stability and increased manufacturing yield. Here, it is important to know the exact composition of the packaging material in order to be able to perform E&L studiesefficiently. Nevertheless, this type of information often cannot be obtained from the material suppliers due to the complexity of the manufacturing processes,desire to protect their own process know-how, and potential upstream changes in raw materials. To address this issue, most testing laboratories that perform E&L studieshave built up comprehensive databases on materials and additives.

Most people are less aware of the fact that the original composition of the packaging system alone is not mainly responsible for what substances are found as E&L.One additional influencing factor is the sterilization process. As is well known, gamma irradiation can lead to polymer and additive degradation (e.g. crosslinking and scission), whereas steam sterilization can alter the mechanical and chemical properties as well (e.g. softening).  

Regulatory requirements
Pharmaceutical companies need to conduct leachable studies to prove that no harmful substances will penetrate from the primary packaging into the drug during appropriate use of the drug in the respective dosage under normal storage conditions.This procedure is specified in a number of guidelines or regulations for the United States / Canada andfor Europe.They do not include any specific instructions on how to perform E&L studies, however. 

It is important for pharmaceutical manufacturers to be able to come up with this proof as cost effectively as possible. Extractable studies help them to achieve this goal because they enable the toxicological assessment of possible Leachables and identity the number of substances that need to be tested with validated methods in the subsequent leachable studies. One of the challenges with E&L studies is that the study design has to be adapted to the drug composition and processing as well as the packaging properties.

Some recommendations
A working group at the Product Quality Research Institute (PQRI) based in Arlington, Virginia, has developed detailed recommendations on a special group of pharmaceutical products in which the risk of interactions with the packaging is considered to be particularly high. Some examples are published with respect to the dosage form: Thisincludesnasal sprays, oral inhalation aerosols and parenteral liquids, as well as best practices for representative parenteral and ophthalmic packaging materials. 

The following aspects of extractable studies are particularly important:

1. Extraction should take place using a plurality of solvents of different polarities and using several different types of extraction methods. Prior workingknowledge of pharmaceutical formulations and packaging materials can help to minimize these efforts and choose the right solvents and methods.

2. Several different analytical techniques should be employed. Common suitable methods are: HS-GC/MS (headspace-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) for volatile Extractables, GC/MS for semi-volatile, LC/MS (liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry) for non-volatile or polar Extractables,andICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry) for analyzingelemental impurities, e.g. metals fromorganic pigments or polymerization catalysts. With the increasing regulatory requirements, the analytical capabilities need to be improved and updated in short cycles especially with respect to lower detection and quantification limits.

3. Extensive experience, appropriate databases and reference materials,high qualified laboratory staff and proper quality control helps to interpret the data correctly to draw the proper conclusions and avoid mistakes.

Study design on the impact of sterilization
For example, the experts from SCHOTT Pharmaceutical Systems have observed that the extraction profile varies depending on the sterilization method used.“For some packaging components such as rubber stoppers, sterilization is mandatory before they can be used for medical purposes. However, Gamma irradiation can lead to polymer and additive degradation, whereas steam sterilization can also alter the mechanical and chemical properties. Both have an impact on the extraction profile,” says Daniel Canton, laboratory manager at SCHOTT pharma services. 

To demonstrate this impact, his team has conducted a study with commercially available stoppers made of bromobutyl rubber for use in syringes. It included five different stoppers from three different manufacturers and three variants of sterilization: Steam sterilization (autoclaving, 121 °C for 30 minutes), gamma sterilization (40 kGy), and a combination of the two techniques gamma-irradiation (first) and steam-sterilization (second). 

General Observation
The study shows that the total content of organic components (VOC, SVOC, and NVOC) deviates quite significantly between various bromobutyl stoppers from different manufacturers.In most cases,bromomethane and acetonecan be found prior to any sterilization. Their concentration significantly increases upon gamma-sterilization.

The total amount of SVOC strongly depends on the applied extraction solvent and method. Concerning extraction of rubber oligomers(side products of rubber formation), rubber degradation products and antioxidants extraction in dichloromethane is most efficient. In most cases, extraction of fatty acids - e.g. from palmitic or stearic acid derivates - seems to be more efficient using isopropanol -probably depending on kind of derivate contained in rubber formulation.

A steric hindered phenolic antioxidant can be found in all stoppers. Extraction of these antioxidants was most pronounced using dichloromethane as extraction solvent.

Impact of sterilization
The sum of VOC out of all samples significantly increases upon gamma-sterilization.Significant amounts of isobutene and other unsaturated hydrocarbons out of all stoppers can be observed only after gamma-sterilization.Generally, the sum of VOC decreases upon steam-sterilization of unsterilized and gamma-sterilized stoppers. That effect is also observed for single substances like isobutene, bromomethane, and acetone.

The concentration of extractable antioxidants out of all samples significantly decreases upon gamma-sterilization. This might influence the stability of the base polymer material and lead to formation of radical degradation or pyrolysis products of the basic polymer, e.g. formation of isobutene or bromomethane. Steam-sterilization had no significant influence on antioxidant concentration.Extractable heptadecane- as well as some other saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons - out of all samples can be found only upon gamma-sterilization and gamma- with additional steam-sterilization.

In general, the total amount of extractable palmitic and stearic acid out of all stopper types increased upon gamma-irradiation. In most cases a more or less pronounced decrease of extractable fatty acids can be observed after steam-sterilization of unsterilized and gamma-sterilized. This observation was strongest for extracts in DCM and ultrapure water. The use of ultrapure water seems to result in extraction of (most probably) surface-orientated fatty acids, rather than extraction out of the depth of the material.

After gamma-sterilization of one sample, the concentration of water-extractable 7,9-di-tert-butyl-1-oxaspiro(4,5)deca-6,9-diene-2,8-dione -one possibleIrganox 1010 degradation product - increases. This substance should be estimated as a potential Leachable, especially into aqueous drug formulations.A significant influence or trend of sterilization on the concentration of extractable cyclic rubber oligomers - e.g. C13H24 and C21H40 - was not observed for any examined sample.

Need for customized studies 
The results of the study clearly demonstrate that sterilization of polymer components influences the respective extraction profile significantly. Thus, it can expected that the amount and the type of leachables from a primary packaging product that comes into contact with a pharmaceutical formulation also depends on the sterilization processing. Also, while this type of study is useful for giving trends, it is too general to fulfill the specific needs of an individual drug/container system. Therefore, customized E&L investigations should be executed on the basis of best practices extractables guidelines. 

Laboratory service providers like SCHOTT pharma services can design and execute customized E&L studies based on best practice guidelines, and they also possess comprehensive know-how on the entire life cycle of commercially available primary packaging. This knowledge is crucial to determinethe origin of the substances found. 

Dr. Dan Haines
Scientific Advisor for SCHOTT pharma services, earned his doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Chicago. He joined SCHOTT in 2001 with a focus on developing glass coatings to control drug formulation interactions with glass surfaces. Since 2010 he is responsible for SCHOTT pharma services in North America providing analytical support of packaging material for pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. UweRothhaar
Director of SCHOTT pharma services earned his doctorate in Physics at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. He joined SCHOTT in 2000 and focused his activities on analytical support around glass and glass surfaces. Over the last years he is responsible for SCHOTT pharma services providing analytical support of packaging material for pharmaceutical companies.



 Daniel Canton
Laboratory Manager for SCHOTT pharma services, earned his diploma degree in 
Biotechnology with focus on Analytical Chemistry at the University of applied sciences in Darmstadt. He joined SCHOTT in 2011 as responsible person for development and conduct of Extractable & Leachable studies. During his diploma thesis he investigated extractable profiles of secondary packaging materials and their influence on the extractable profiles of primary pharmaceutical packaging materials. In 2015 he took over the function as manager of the Extractable & Leachable laboratory.


Byline: Dale Outhous, Vice President, DuPont Ethylene Copolymers
Innovation in the packaging industry is driven with a clear sense of purpose and responsibility for improving consumer lives and creating value in the marketplace, according to a group of recognized industry experts who recently gathered in Wilmington, Delaware to judge the 28th Annual DuPont Packaging Awards for Innovation.

By Bob Houghton, Head of Marketing & Communications – Europe & Asia, at Multi Packaging Solutions.

Over the past decade, the amount of information required to support many healthcare products has dramatically increased due to legislation, and consumer and retail demand. This has had several major repercussions that have led to several innovative packaging formats which offer space-saving solutions. 

Patient information leaflets are now found in nearly all ethical pharmaceuticals and a growing proportion of OTC medicines. This trend has been driven by EU legislation which curtailed the practice of dispensing OTC tablets / medicines in a labelled container. This has led to a growing need for supporting leaflets as dose sizes reduce and the size of the carton (i.e. area of printed information) also decreases. 

At the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in the average size of patient information leaflets. The surface area of a leaflet, destined for several markets, will often reflect the most detailed legislation requirements for a particular country. Legislation has also governed the minimum font size used to ensure it is readable, thereby aiding understanding. The size of a leaflet, given these guidelines, is dictated by the number of times it can be intricately folded. This has meant that some of the leaflets accompanying healthcare products have become increasingly bulky with minimum type size and awkward multiple folds.

In response, a number of innovative space-saving solutions have been developed. Leaflet formats such as outserts, tagserts and wrapserts, which can be produced using complex folds, have provided much-needed space. Larger leaflets or even multiple leaflets, covering different information requirements, can also be joined together by ‘friendly’ adhesive or banded together for ease of packing. This allows different types of information, even for different audiences, such as the doctor and patient, to be banded together. Two or three folded leaflets can be joined, back to back, in this way.  

It has also been possible to insert these leaflet formats into the product’s outer carton, which improves packing line efficiency whilst reducing inventory / SKUs. Leaflet-cartons also provide assurance the correct leaflet is combined with the right carton and the format requires no additional capital spend. It is also possible to add a fifth panel to the carton which can be detached using a perforated tear-strip and retained by the pharmacist. An increase in perfecting units on print presses – although still very specialised – has allowed the inner part of a carton to be printed as well as the outer surface. This again provides more space for patient information and, combined with clever constructional designs, easy access to it.   

Other solutions include high-quality mini-booklets that are available in a variety of styles: saddle stitched, perfect bound and spine glued. Booklets are a viable alternative to folded leaflets when detailed information is required in a reader-friendly format. Booklets can be small and the size of credit-card is typical with up to 150 pages, but can be produced down to a scale of 35mm x 50mm x 2.5mm. Printed in an unlimited range of colours, they can incorporate labels for accurate date identification or perforated promotional coupons. The personal care sector is also a large user of high quality booklets, which supplement information found on exterior packaging. Here sachets used to contain samples of face-cream, shampoos etc can be fixed to cards to provide extra product information or promotion details. 

Another alternative is a ‘wallet card’, which is commonly used to pack pharmaceutical samples in the United States. The wallet pack’s design demonstrates the ability to combine several packaging formats in a single pack. A blister card is an integral part of the pack whilst a leaflet or insert is securely attached to the wallet card. This provides packing-line efficiencies and avoids any potential costly re-work on lines where the leaflet is inserted manually. Furthermore, it prevents a pack being sent without the required information. 

Samples distributed in wallet cards allow patients to begin their medication immediately. The wallet card provides plenty of space for patient information which helps to encourage compliance. Security features can also be combined including both overt and covert technologies. As well as inserts/leaflets, it is also possible to add business reply cards or an informational booklet. 

The label sector too has developed many space-saving options. Leaflet-labels or extended labels, which use the same space on the product as a conventional label, are nothing new. However, there have been a number of new developments which extend the use of this format. It is possible now to obtain labels with five print surfaces. These labels cleverly combine three pieces, or plies, of material together to provide additional space for more detailed product information. Labels can be produced in a range of shapes, and special inks and varnishes can be applied if required. Booklet-labels offer even greater flexibility – up to 96 pages, which covers the information requirements of even the most demanding and complex products. 

The role of packaging cannot be overplayed. It is the first point of communication with the patient and it is imperative that it clearly communicates to the patient in a way that is easily understood – what the item is, what it’s used for, how to use it and so on. A well-designed pack conveys information clearly and in a format that is easily understood.  


Bob Houghton is Head of Marketing & Communications for MPS with a responsibility for Europe & Asia. Bob has over 20 years’ experience in the packaging industry and has a keen interest in trends shaping the marketplace. He also a committee member of the UK trade association, BPIF Cartons.

About Multi Packaging Solutions
Multi Packaging Solutions (“MPS”) is the leading global provider of value-added packaging solutions to a diverse customer base across the healthcare, branded consumer and multi-media markets. MPS provides customers with an extensive array of print-based specialty packaging,including premium folding cartons, labels, inserts/leaflets and specialty packaging across a variety of substrates and finishes. The company has 59 manufacturing locations in North America, Asia and Europe and employs over 8,500 people. MPS is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (MPSX),please visit



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