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Compliance-prompting packages honored by the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council
2015 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year: Vertex ORKAMBI Medication Package from PCI Pharma Services

Compliance-prompting packages honored by the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council

The Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (HCPC) has announced the winners of its annual Compliance Package of the Year competition. The not-for-profit trade association encourages the greater use of compliance-prompting packaging to improve patient adherence and patient outcomes.

Held since 1995, the annual awards program honors the most innovative pharmaceutical packages designed to improve patient adherence from the preceding market year. This year’s industry winners are:

  • 2015 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year: Vertex ORKAMBI Medication Package from PCI Pharma Services
  • 2015 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year First Runner Up: Merck Januvia Medication Package from Westrock
  • 2015 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year Second  Runner Up: Mannkind Afrezza Medication Package from PCI Pharma Services

The HCPC 2015 Compliance Package of the Year, Vertex ORKAMBI Medication Package from PCI Pharma Services, features individual daily blister units held in weekly cartons and then packed together in an outer monthly carton. According to a news release issued by HCPC, Vertex ORKAMBI (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients age 12 years and older who have two copies of the F508del mutation (F508del/F508del) in their CFTR gene. Graphics and instructions guide patients through the regimen, which entails "reminding patients to take the AM and PM doses 12 hours apart and to take their medicine with fat containing foods," states HCPC. 

One of the judges described the Orkambi compliance-prompting prescription package: “Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Orkambi pack for treatment of cystic fibrosis is quite simply one of the best pharmaceutical package designs I’ve ever seen. It starts with a folding carton that displays like a carryout lunch box. The carton opens from the top whereby the inner flap provides easy-to-read dosage instructions. Inside the box are four separate and identical folding cartons that all open just like the larger outer carton. All packaging components are color coded, with each of the four cartons representing a seven day supply of medications, four tablets per day. There is no wasted space.  The true beauty of this package, however, is once you open each of the four smaller cartons. Inside, a color-coded carrier is marked with each day of the week. The carrier is slotted so that seven blister packs are cushioned within each slot, from both ends. The patient can look at the inside top flap on each of the cartons to see how to remove two tablets from the blister pack in the morning, and two more at night.”

Read on about the 2015 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year First Runner Up: Merck Januvia Medication Package from Westrock

Above: the HCPC 2015 Compliance Package of the Year First Runner Up: Merck Januvia Medication Package from Westrock

The Januvia Medication Package, a 4-week dosing regimen of a once-daily treatment, features a calendared blister labeled by day on each individual pill cavity, a panel detailing medication information and dosing instructions, and branding for Merck / Januvia on the outer package.

“WestRock and Merck partnered to design the Januvia package to help diabetes patients adhere to their medication,” stated John Grinnell, VP, Sales, Health, Beauty, & Adherence, WestRock, in HCPC's news release. "Packaging is the one tool that stays with the patient throughout the medication journey, making it uniquely effective in providing regimen support.” 

One of the judges stated that “with this Januvia 100 mg package, Merck & Co. demonstrates that it understands how to make medication adherence simpler for patients with Type 2 diabetes. The package is easy to use, convenient and loaded with helpful features.” 

Read on about the 2015 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year Second  Runner Up: Mannkind Afrezza Medication Package from PCI Pharma Services

Above: the HCPC 2015 Compliance Package of the Year Second Runner Up: MannKind Afrezza Medication Package from PCI Pharma Services

Afrezza, a rapid-acting inhaled insulin, is provided to patients in color-coded prefilled cartridges, blister packages, and overwrapped pouches; the color coding system is used to indicate the number of insulin units. HCPC explains inthe release that "four (4) unit strength cartridges are blue, eight (8) unit strength cartridges are green, and twelve (12) unit strength cartridges are yellow. An indication of each cartridge strength is also molded in the plastic of the individual cartridge." The package also includes two prewrapped inhalers in a carton that offers dosing instructions, a color-coded dosing chart based on the number of units needed per dose, and a calendar to guide the patient in replacing the disposable inhaler unit.  

According to the judges: “Providing a needle-free method of administering insulin has been a long-sought goal. But, beyond successfully introducing a method of accomplishing this, the Afreeza package successfully provides clear instructions and an inhalation device that provides a high degree of user friendliness: the color coding for different dosages; and the simplicity of the inhalation device. Care was taken with the patient guide to provide clear, understandable text and graphics for what must be a carefully administered therapy.”

Student Competition Winner

This year the HCPC introduced a student competition to recognize innovative pharmaceutical packaging designs from undergraduate or graduate students of pharmaceutical and/or packaging schools. This year’s student winner is Kathryn Binsfeld, currently a sophomore at Michigan State University.

Binsfeld’s Night and Day dual-chamber container allows patients to push down on a two-part cap that indicates AM or PM, HCPC reports. "The patient pushes down on the appropriate cap portion, which releases a tablet/capsule into the bottom cavity.  Once there, the user can then line the arrow up with the tick mark in order to gain access to the cavity, thus maintaining child-resistance. The cap resets itself once both AM and PM buttons have been pushed."

“Ms. Binsfeld submitted a very-well thought out package and we are pleased to award her a $1,000 scholarship for the innovative design. It is exciting to see our future packaging professionals create packaging that will improve adherence and healthcare outcomes,” stated Walt Berghahn, HCPC Executive Director, in the news release.

For more information on HCPC, please visit www.hcpconline.org.

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Packaging design for safe dosing and other topics will be discussed during the June 16 conference at EastPack, "Ensuring Patient Safety & Product Efficacy Through Successful Packaging," held in New York City. 

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