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New designs for OTC packaging

Increasing legislation, the range of over-the-counter (OTC) products, and growing consumer awareness are placing demands on the format, performance, and image of OTC packaging. Those trends led Chesapeake Corp., a Richmond, VA-based supplier of paperboard and plastic packaging, to launch a design center/studio and product development group dedicated to helping pharmaceutical companies strengthen their brands through packaging. Located in Nottingham, England, the design center offers packaging design, materials development, and analytical management services. While its current focus is on pharmaceutical packaging, Chesapeake is also looking into designing for medical device packaging. Five full-time employees evaluate materials and printing processes for cartons, labels, leaflets, leaflet-labels, booklets, and combinations thereof. The studio features new offices, a new Esko-Graphics Kongsberg sample-making table, and the latest computer equipment to run 3-D simulations.

With the latest equipment and technology at its disposal, the center's design team is ready to handle the central challenge of OTC package design—how to accommodate the ever-expanding Drug Facts. Carol Hammond, the center's technical development director, describes this challenge as "the combined need to convey all of the required consumer information but in a highly attractive package that enhances and builds the brand's image and shelf presence." Toachieve this end, the design team takes customers through the following steps:

• Develop a brief
• Review and evaluate material options
• Design construction for all elements of the package
• Prepare prototypes that lead to initial bulk trials

While the design center will help strengthen Chesapeake's position in Europe, the company also plans to expand in the United States. In early August, Chesapeake announced an agreement with Impaxx, Inc., to acquire Impaxx Pharmaceutical Packaging Group Inc., which does business as Arlington Press. Arlington Press is a leading supplier of printed pharmaceutical leaflets in North America. The acquisition will allow the company to expand its global pharmaceutical packaging business.

--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.
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