As it has since 1995, the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (Bon Air, VA), a trade group of unit-dose packaging developers and manufacturers, selects a Package of the Year and two runners-up from among products that entered commercial distribution in the past year. A second category, for Innovative Design, is also voted. Anderson Packaging (Rockford, IL) won all three commercial entries, while the Innovative Design Award went to Vitality, Inc. (Cambridge, MA) for its GlowCap, which contains a wireless Internet connection that can be used to send status or reminder notices to patients, as well as to shine brightly when a dosage is scheduled for application.
Unusually in recent years of the HCPC competition, all three winners are from one company, the Anderson Packaging unit of AmerisourceBergen Packaging Group; the second runner-up also involved Meadwestsvaco and a hybrid version of its Dosepak design, as deployed by GSK for its Lamictal Patient Titration Kit. The first runner-up is Anderson Packaging’s two-panel, folding blister card, which was used by Bristol Meyers Squibb’s Onglyza physician sample unit.
The top vote-getter is a sample package for Pfizer’s Toviaz, using Anderson’s IntuiDose design, a four-paneled wallet combining compliance-enhancing design features with patient and physician education materials. It includes a patient guidebook, a detailed treatment plan and a diary to track goals and health improvement. It’s not the first award for the Toviaz physician sample packaging, which in March won the Distribution Management Award from the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA). In that case, HDMA honored the success of the collaboration between Anderson and its client.
The Toviaz package has medication sufficient for a two-week regimen, along with instructional materials for a 12-week regimen. The BMS Onglyza sample package includes refill reminder information for the patient. The GSK Lamictal package is a tritration kit, with dosages distinguished by package color schemes. Up to three tritration schedules, or four maintenance schedules, can be specified.
“We’re developing a portfolio of F=1 package designs,” says Justin Schroeder, marketing manager at Anderson Packaging, explaining that “F=1” is the highest designation for child-resistant packaging, a requirement of the US Consumer Products Safety Commission. Non-unit-dose packaging—pills in bottles, primarily—meet this requirement by having screw-off caps that require pressure applied in some indirect fashion to release the cap. A variety of cartons and wallets (cases) have been developed with keys or tabs of various kinds that prevent children from opening the container.
Schroeder says that the GSK package was quite innovative in its own right; the GSK product is friable, and would break up if (as patients often do) simply pushed through the blister cavity. That package uses two plastic blister sheets glued together, in combination with the DosePak wallet of Meadwestvaco.
Between last year’s annual meeting and this one, HCPC has reorganized its operations, says executive director Vickie Welch. The organization will focus prominently on the compliance and adherence advantages of unit-dose packaging. The Compliance Package of the Year, the first-runner-up and the Innovation Award each qualify their sponsors to designate colleges of packaging education for scholarship funds. PC