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Costs rank as top issue to resolve

Focused questions posed by audience members at various healthcare conference seminars exemplify the complexity of issues on the plates of packagers.

Through our Web site, Packworld.com, we asked healthcare packagers, "What packaging-related issue would you most like to resolve this year?"

Costs were the most frequently noted topic. "Cost of production," "reduce the cost of drugs and save money for the customer," "rising costs," and "quality versus cost...what is the cost of quality?" were among the survey responses. Of course, costs affect virtually any packaging issue.

Similar to the inquisitive conference attendees, several of our recent survey respondents expressed a passion for specific topics. One of the most intriguing issue-related comments not focusing on costs came from one survey respondent who sought "improved prescription dispensing by retail and mail pharmacies.

"The packages [don't] protect the medications, [they] omit protection such as moisture absorbents contained in the packages from [pharmaceutical] manufacturers, [and] they rely on child-resistant (CR) caps on bottles to provide CR assurance, [yet] with no regard for opening problems by our aging population. Why not have the FDA approve the dispensed packages from drug manufacturers and make the pharmacies dispense those packages?" Does this suggestion make sense? Why or why not?

--By Jim Butschli, Editor
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