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The end of drug bottles?

For years, the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council and others have touted unit-dose packaging as a way to improve patient compliance, compared with traditional medicine bottles. In fact, Ben Miyares, vice president of industry relations with the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), predicted the end of drug bottles.

At PMMI's August 2 Packaging Today & Tomorrow, Partners in Packaging event in Wilmington, DE, Miyares offered his "five ongoing trends and three fearless forecasts." He said, "At least eight U.S. states have active programs to recover about $1 billion worth of unused prescription drugs from nursing homes, hospitals, and healthcare facilitators. Some legislators, looking for ways to lower [the] cost of drugs to consumers, think that requiring drugs to be packed in multicell blister packs, or regimen packs, is the way to do this."

The potential impact of a move from traditional bottles to multipacks, he noted, would be a "major disruption of pharmaceutical packaging operations," though he pointed out the probability of this was "less than one percent in the next ten years."
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