The NextBottle features a dial with a mechanism counting the days of the week.
The Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (Falls Church, VA) announced the winners of its 2007 Compliance Package of the Year competition on April 4. The awards consist of two categories: one for trade packages and the other for innovative designs not yet used commercially.
The Glipizide Key.In package, a carded wallet manufactured by Nosco Inc. (Waukegan, IL) for Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Corona, CA), functions with a removable key card that must be inserted into the lock in order to access the blisters within. The key can be taken out of the package and stored elsewhere, rendering the medication inaccessible. The keyed feature earned the product an F=1 rating. The package is also user-friendly for seniors, who have the option of leaving the key in place to maintain an unlocked status for households without children and to ease accessibility for dexterity-limited elderly patients. Once the package has been unlocked and opened, the Key.In incorporates an ornate black-and-white pattern, marketed as “distract,” which covers the entire perforated area beneath the blister cavities to disguise the push-through capability of the cardboard and to prevent accidental access by children.
Pfizer Inc.’s (New York City) Champix Starting Therapy package, manufactured by Anderson Packaging (Rockford, IL), was named as First Runner-Up in the HCPC competition. The four-panel wallet card highlights dose information to ensure compliance to this titration therapy. The wallet pack was marketed in Mexico and includes a two-week course of therapy for beginning the smoking-cessation drug product. The Champix package integrates patient and regulatory information with an attached leaflet and folds into a pocket-sized wallet with a resealable tape closure for portability.
“It folds up to a very convenient size, about the same size as a cigarette pack, ironically,” says Justin Schroeder, Anderson Packaging marketing manager.
The product also features an anticounterfeiting sticker that shifts colors based upon view angle. “We decided to put our own patent array to use and come up with something proprietary to Anderson,” says Schroeder. “We wanted to take the best of the prescription bottle and the blister. The bottle is convenient for its portability and volume; blisters for compliance.
“We’re seeing a lot of growth in starter packs and value-added physician’s samples. They’re used to better inform patients about the drug. Like all industries, it costs a lot more money to bring a new patient in than to bring them back.”
The Champix smoking-cessation wallet card folds to the same size as a pack of cigarettes.
Second Runner-Up was Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ (Madison, NJ) Effexor XR Flow Wrap Titration Package, manufactured by Sharp Corp. (Allentown, PA). Sharp’s design was employed for the drug to comply with an FDA guideline that all antidepressants be dispensed with medication guides. The Effexor XR is packaged in a carton with a patient insert, ensuring that patients receive all mandated information provided with the titration blister. Graphics on the pouch clearly identify the drug product. One competition judge noted the product was a “very attractive package with uplifting colors, graphics, and fonts appropriate for such therapy. The patient insert will also help encourage compliance.”
“Wyeth wanted to make sure the patient insert and a med guide that was recommended for antidepressants by FDA stayed with the blister,” says Bill Walker, Sharp’s vice president, sales and marketing. “They also decided to use an opaque wrap material that could be printed and provide marketing space. The result was a unique flow-wrap sample pouch that is colorful, and informational.”
The Effexor package is designed as a physician’s sample, Walker says. “We put 10 samples in a compact display carton, which fits neatly in a physician’s sample closet. Since the display carton holds 10 sample units, the retailers are able to keep accurate counts on the total samples they leave a physician.”
The Innovative Design prize was awarded to One World Design & Manufacturing Group Ltd. (Warren, NJ) for the NextBottle. “This is the third year that HCPC has included the Innovative Design category so that packages that have not yet been licensed are able to compete. During those three years, I have been very impressed by the pioneering designs featured in this category. And the NextBottle is no exception.”
The NextBottle opens as a traditional child-resistant bottle with a push-then-turn function, but dispenses one dose at a time while indicating day and time to better ensure patient compliance in taking medication. Once opened, the interior of the bottle features a dial across the top that allows dispensing of one dosage per day via a dial mechanism outlining the days of the week. The dial can be manually advanced to expel dosages for subsequent days.
“We designed a compliance wheel that incorporated a planetary gearing system that when the outside wheel advances 1/30, the inside wheel advances 1/7 to keep track of the days of the week,” says Marty Mason, One World director of marketing. “There is nothing on the market like it.”