New packaging aids safety and tracking

It's encouraging to see drug companies publicize changes to their packaging that will enhance safety and improve product tracking. Sharing these improvements can help other pharmaceutical companies preparing to update their packaging features and technologies. ZLB Behring LLC, a global leader in the plasma protein biotherapeutics industry, is one company setting such an example. In June, the company made packaging changes to Carimune NF, an intravenous immunoglobulin product for patients with primary immunodeficiencies. These changes will help ensure that healthcare professionals dispense and administer the medication appropriately. In addition to increasing product information, the new packaging will include the following changes:

Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) bar codes. Smaller codes using RSS technology will be added to all bottles and boxes of Carimune at the unit-of-use level. The packaging will retain its existing EAN-128 bar codes for customers that do not have the updated technology necessary to read RSS bar codes.

Tamper-evident seals. These will be applied to all cartons as an extra safety measure to help ensure the integrity and purity of the product.

Peel-off labels. Two labels printed with the NDC number, lot number, and expiration date can be easily peeled from the bottle and placed on a patient's chart.

New graphics. Bottles and cartons will be updated with a bold red-and-blue graphic to make the packages more recognizable.

The changes will be instituted on all Carimune NF packages on the U.S. market. In addition to improving product safety and convenience, the new packaging will be helpful in the event of a recall. According to Sheila Burke, a spokesperson for ZLB Behring, the company has received positive feedback on the changes, especially within hospitals.

Tell us if your company has recently updated its packaging to improve safety and expedite tracking.

--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. (kkania783@yahoo.com)
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