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09 Apr

Pharmaceutical Packaging: Types & Benefits

Medical packaging plays a number of important roles, but its key function is providing protection to the pharmaceutical products packaged within. Such packaging is designed according to the unique specifications and sterilisation requirements of the medical products to preserve their integrity whilst also adhering to medical standards.

The wide range of pharmaceutical products available on the market means a wide variety of stock and bespoke medical packaging is manufactured to meet demands. Nowadays, you can customise the sterility, breathability, rigidity, size and dimensions of pharmaceutical stand up pouch packaging, so that even the most delicate medicines can be safely shipped.

What are the different types of pharmaceutical packaging?

Pharmaceutical packaging can be split into three main categories: primary, secondary and tertiary. As the name suggests, primary packaging is the first layer, which is directly in contact with the medical product or equipment. This type of packaging is made from materials that contain the drug without interacting with it. Examples of primary pharmaceutical packaging include strip packages and blisters.

Secondary packaging refers to the cartons or stand up pouches where medical products are grouped for storage, while tertiary packaging describes the containers pharmaceuticals are stowed in for shipping and bulk handling.

Containers used for pharmaceutical packaging are either made of glass or plastic. Glass containers require an FDA clearance and need to be strong, rigid, impermeable and chemically inactive. High quality plastic packaging, meanwhile, are extremely durable and leak-resistant, meaning the design of your stand up pouches can be easily tailored to your requirements.

Medical packaging usually takes one of several configuration based on its purpose:

Individual wrap packages are used for single-use pharmaceutical products, such as syringes. This type of packaging is often combined with blister packs for extra support.

Blister packaging is used to encase individual medical products within a larger pack, protecting them from contamination. The contents of blister packs can either be removed through a peelable layer or push-through lidding.

Cartons are most suitable for storing counter pharmaceuticals which come packaged in individual cartons. Cartons are usually manufactured from fiber boards and can be stored at room temperature.

Stand up pouches are the perfect solution for storing oddly shaped medical equipment. Versatile in the material they’re made from, pouches can be manufactured to meet specific sterilisation standards.

Which type of material used for medicines packaging?

In order for pharmaceuticals to work properly, they need to be packaged in a way that protects their integrity and ensures an optimal shelf-life. The materials used for the medical packaging depends largely on the contents and their end use – injectables, lifesaving liquids, and medicine that needs to be easily accessible will all have different recommended packaging.

One of the popular materials (which you’d have likely encountered if you’ve ever taken prescription pills) is aluminium foil.  Also known as a Blister, it makes up the clamshell which protects the individual pills from contaminants. Clamshells are only one of the numerous examples of the uses of aluminium foil packaging the pharmaceutical industry.

Foil packaging is also commonly used by medical companies and laboratories to safely transport medical devices and samples, such as petri dishes, blood sample bottles, and wound care, as well as life-saving valves (e.g. resuscitation valve) and medical accessories (e.g. catheter and other tubing sets).

Why is aluminium foil preferred in pharmaceutical packaging?

The versatility and safety of aluminium foil stand up pouches has made them the preferred choice of medical packaging in the pharmaceutical industry. It provides an attractive alternative to traditional packaging, which has historically been limited in functions.

The special properties of aluminium foil make standup pouches perfect for pharmaceutical packaging. They create a protective barrier which keeps contaminants such as moisture, oxygen and light away from the medical products.  This extends the shelf life of pharmaceuticals, which makes them safer for patients.

By providing a barrier against oxygen, moisture, biological, chemical, and even aroma which keeps your medical products safe from contamination, the PET, Aluminium and LDPE laminate of foil packaging maintains their integrity from manufacture to the moment they reach the end customer.

Aluminium foil pouches are an easy to seal pharmaceutical packaging, which makes your products even more consumer-friendly for patients who need to reseal them for repeated use. What’s more, since aluminium stand up pouches are designed to be lightweight and stackable, they are much easier to transport and carry.

Aluminium pouches for the pharmaceutical sector are composed of layered material, and required to be completely sterile. The good news is, thanks to the nature of the material, your medical packaging can be completely customised in colour, size and finish.

When you order aluminium foil pouches from Polypouch, you can enjoy all the bespoke features of stand up pouches and avoid legal risk by clearly displaying important information about your medical products on the high-quality labelling we can provide for your foil packaging.

You can even do your bit for the environment and reduce your carbon footprint when you switch to aluminium foil packaging!


Pharmaceutical packaging manufacturer – cost effective stand up pouch solutions for medical products

If you want to order pharmaceutical packaging for your laboratories, medical products and health food supplies, get in touch with our pouch packaging specialists and order a free aluminium foil packaging sample. We are always on hand to advise you on the best stand up pouch options to promote your medical products and help you place an order.