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Will marketing drive 'smart' pharmaceutical packaging?

I recently paid a visit to a representative of a supplier of healthcare packaging materials who showed me sophisticated "Smart" packages--this particular application was for clinical trials.

My teacher for the day suggested something thought-provoking: These interactive, data collecting, compliance-boosting designs will not be bought or specified by packaging engineers or purchasing departments. Instead, Marketing will "adopt" the package and make it, and the drug, a combined launch where the package's role in offering superior results is intrinsic.

This is truly where packaging shines. However, cost/benefit is difficult to justify if the package is five or 10 times the cost of the current trial package.

There may be too high a price for many "smart" packaging offerings. But income from pharmaceutical products could justify these pricier compliance tools. Here packaging plays a vital role communicating the condition and location of the package contents, time, and even the details of the patient's interaction. These packages also feature innovative expanded-content panels for complicated drug regimen clinical trial instructions.

- By Jim Chrzan, Publisher
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