Synergy Pharmaceuticals and Merck Earn HCPC Honors—Part II of II

Blister packs improve patient adherence by making it easier to remember to take meds, using graphics and easy-to-understand instructions.

Each year, the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (HCPC) awards its Compliance Package of Year. In Part I, we covered HCPC’s top honors.

Synergy Pharmaceuticals won the 2017 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year First Runner Up for Trulance, and Merck PREVYMIS Dosepak was named 2017 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year Second Runner Up.

Synergy Pharmaceuticals’ Trulance

Submitted by PCI Pharma Services on behalf of Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc., Trulance (plecanatide) is a once-daily tablet approved in the U.S. for the treatment of adults with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

Trulance is reportedly the only prescription medication for CIC and IBS-C available in a calendar pack that is patient-preferred to a traditional pill bottle. The calendar pack is designed to help make it easy for patients to remember to take their medication.

Trulance tablets are organized for each day of the week to ensure patients never miss a dose. The last two tablets of the 30-day pack are displayed with a reminder to refill the prescription. The Trulance package also utilizes WestRock’s Dosepak, which is designed to enable and empower patients to comply with complex regimens, driving refills to ultimately increase adherence.

Merck’s PREVYMIS Dosepak

PREVYMIS is a prescription medicine designed to help prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and disease in adults who have received an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell (bone marrow) transplant. The PREVYMIS calendared blister wallet for the U.S. market was designed to provide a comprehensive approach to initializing therapy via a compliance-promoting design.

This custom design again uses the Dosepak platform technology, integrating visual cues such as arrows to help guide each patient through daily dosing, encouraging compliance while keeping the dosing regimen simple to understand. The opening instructions are clearly illustrated with prominent text and differentiating colors.

The wallet provides ample space for medication information and dosing instructions in a clear format to help patients. Branding and product description can be seen on the outer packaging. The package insert is contained within the 5/6th panel.

One tablet must be taken daily, with each wallet pack providing one week of therapy. Each blister cavity is individualized with the corresponding day of the week, permitting patients to start treatment any given day and indicating when they will finish the pack. Removing a tablet from the wallet provides visible evidence medication was taken that day. The package design aims to give patients a sense of accomplishment as they progress through the therapy and ensure the prevention of CMV.

The pack is both senior-friendly and child-resistant, achieving an F=1 rating, as required for the U.S. market. The blister cavities protect the product from moisture, oxygen and light.

One of the judges reviewing the Merck Prevymis compliance package commented, “Quite possibly the most patient-friendly instructions I’ve seen in a pharmaceutical compliance package! Large, legible typeface provides absolutely clear instructions: “HOW TO OPEN THIS PACKAGE” is a great example. So are the six steps on the top portion of the pack that show once the pack is opened. It’s as if Merck enlisted patients to actually write usage directions for this package, which may well have been the case. A job well done, especially given the investment in packaging materials for only seven tablets.”

The HCPC Compliance Package of the Year competition has been held annually since 1995. The not-for-profit trade association will present the awards for 2017 and the upcoming 2018 Compliance Package of the Year awards at their March 2019 HCPC members meeting when the organization will host the IoPP Drug and Pharmaceutical Packaging Committee in Charleston, SC.

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