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New drug bottle 'Targets' safety concerns

A prescription bottle designed for Target Corp. pharmacies gives new meaning to the phrase "extreme makeover." Deborah Adler, the mastermind behind Target's ClearRx bottle design, developed the idea while attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. When her grandmother accidentally took the wrong pills, she realized it was time for a more user-friendly design that would allow patients to easily identify their medication. Adler sold her idea to Minneapolis-based Target, and, with the help of industrial designer Klaus Rosberg, the retailer implemented the ClearRx bottle for both liquids and pills. The bottles, which sport Target's signature red color, are extrusion/blow-molded using PETG.

Matt Grisik, project manager, explains that most prescription bottles are polypropylene; however, Target chose PETG for its improved clarity. Instead of the typical cylindrical shape, the bottle has a flat surface, making it easier to see and read the label. Both the 15- and 30-dram bottles sit on their caps, allowing the label to be wrapped around the top of the bottle.

Target worked with Adler and a labeling company to create a new die for the sheet containing the bottle labels, the patient information card, and the patient information sheet. An adhesive backing on the label allows the patient information card to slide behind the label so that it stays with the product. Colored rings added to the bottle neck help patients identify their prescriptions.

The new bottle, which was launched nationwide last month, replaces traditional amber-colored vials. Although the new bottle will be exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art this fall, its sleek, eye-catching appearance is more a byproduct of the redesign's ultimate goal: to create a package in which every element helps promote patient safety and compliance.

--By Kassandra Kania

Kassandra Kania is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, NC. She has covered healthcare packaging for several years, most recently as a trade publication editor.
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