HCPC (Bon Air, VA) the trade association that promotes the use medication adherence through compliance packaging, has announced its annual Compliance Package of the Year and runners-up. The winner is Vertex Pharma and its contract packager, PCI Services (Philadelphia). PCI has been the award winner now for four years running. First runner-up was the Merck Januvia (sitagliptin) medication package, developed for Merck by WestRock (Norcross, GA). The second runner-up is MannKind’s Afrezza (insulin for inhalation), also produced by PCI Services.
Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) is a treatment for cystic fibrosis in patients with a certain genetic mutation. The medication is to be taken twice daily, and the packaging provides daily blister units, packed into a weekly organizer carton; four cartons are delivered with an outer monthly carton. Dosing instructions in written and graphical form occur on both the outer and inner cartons, along with a medication guide. A well thought-out feature is that the daily dosages are provided in a perforated blister pack (with “morning” and “evening” dosages clearly marked) so that, for instance, a patient can take the morning dosage, and then have the other half for use later in the day.
The Januvia package provides a 30-day regimen on a calendarized blister card, contained within the child-resistant packaging WestRock developed. The Afrezza kit includes small handheld inhalers, and powdered insulin in a variety of blister-carded dosage cartridges, which are inserted for use in the inhaler.
HCPC, celebrating its 25th year, promotes the use of unit-dose packaging as a way to improve medication adherence, to enhance drug branding and information delivery, and to provide better environmental control of (typically) oral solids; a study it released last year demonstrated that oral solids’ physical properties can degrade when delivered in 30-90-count amber vials or bottles. Award winners get to choose what schools of packaging engineering receive a scholarship fund managed by the association. This year, HCPC also sponsored a student competition, which was won by Kathryn Binsfeld, a sophomore at Michigan State University.