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Hard-to-open pharma containers plague seniors

The age-old complaint continues to rear its ugly head, according to a new survey and report about the consumer friendliness of packaging.

Two senior couples complained about how hard it was to open what looked like a prescription or vitamin bottle. Describing it as "childproof," one of the women opened it while her friend quipped, "You mean adult-proof." Heard at a hotel restaurant in New Orleans during a recent business trip, the all-too-frequent lament continues to upset consumers.

More quantitative evidence comes from a new survey and report about the consumer friendliness of packaging from Mona Doyle of The Consumer Network, Inc. It surveyed 475 shoppers from across the United States, covering 78 product categories and 15 package and closure types. The research found that opening and reclosing challenges were the most frequently encountered problems.

"Getting tablets, capsules, and pills out of the package is a frequent problem for the very users who are most in need of quick and easy access," says a press release about the report. "Older consumers curse the cotton that tops off many bottles and groan in frustration with carded capsules that require pushing through the foil and a level of strength and finger dexterity they frequently just don't have. The surging senior demographics demand that more attention be paid to this access problem." For more information on the survey, contact Doyle at 215/235-2400, or e-mail her at

--By Jim Butschli, Editor
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