Amcor develops new blister packaging for antibiotic by GSK


Conventional blister packs are a proven solution for protecting pharmaceutical products, and are a convenient solution for patients, being easy to carry and use on-the-go. However, in some extreme conditions such as tropical climates, or highly moisture-sensitive products, there is a need for extra product protection.

One such product is an antibiotic by GSK for use in the Pakistan market. Amcor worked in partnership with GSK and machine manufacturer CAM-Partena, to evolve the packaging for this product which is highly sensitive to moisture. This collaboration resulted in a solution based on the Formpack® Dessiflex Ultra, a desiccated blister system with a special lidding foil.

Innovating to move from glass bottle to enhanced desiccated blister system
The Formpack® Dessiflex Ultra new blister system offers a number of advantages over the previous solution of tablets inside a glass bottle, as well as over standard aluminium blister packs.

Firstly, moisture protection is enhanced. For any standard aluminium blister, moisture can still enter the cavity via cross diffusion through the seal layer, or as part of the tablet packaging process. Formpack® Dessiflex Ultra provides extra protection by absorbing any moisture before it enters the cavity, and by drying the atmosphere of the cavity after the packaging process. This extra protection ensures each dose reaches the patient correctly.

Secondly, it offers an improved experience for patients. The previous glass container of six tablets used a desiccant wrap, sealed using an aluminium pilfer-proof closure with a liner. While this is a safe and effective solution, Formpack® Dessiflex Ultra allows patients to access each individual tablet. This makes it easier to keep track of the number of tablets taken, thereby assisting with patient adherence. Patients can also be assured of the medicine’s authenticity because the colored Dessiflex inner layer (in green) makes it far harder to counterfeit. Finally, the replacement of the previous glass packaging improves safety for line operators by reducing the risk of breakage during production and allowed GSK to simplify its production lines by removing the need to insert a desiccant sachet. Replacing a breakable material also reduces the risk of contamination, which could result in waste.

Building on our patented Dessiflex range
Many pharmaceutical companies today face challenges to extend product shelf-life, maximize production efficiency, and improve speed to market. Packaging solutions need to meet these commercial demands and enhance quality for patients, while also addressing the specific requirements for the pharmaceutical products. The Dessiflex packaging range has been used across the healthcare market for over a decade to help healthcare companies extend product shelf life. Formpack® Dessiflex Ultra is the latest addition to the Dessiflex offering, combining it with the highly successful Formpack blister range.

Industry recognition
The European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) has awarded the Alufoil Trophy in the Product Protection category to Formpack® Dessiflex Ultra, in recognition of the enhanced protection provided to an antibiotic product by GSK and the positive impact on the millions of patients who use it. Laura Fernandez, Senior Packaging Technologist at Marks & Spencer and leader of the awards judging panel, recognized the protective properties of the new blister. She said:

“This pack works well on a number of levels. In particular, its protective capacity enables the antibiotic, which is very moisture sensitive, to be used more securely in humid, tropical areas. The blister ticks a lot of the boxes and met GSK’s criteria to protect operators and patients.”

Before this award, the Dessiflex range had already been recognised on several occasions: in 2012, it won a Dow Packaging Innovation Award (formerly known as DuPont Packaging Innovation Award) and an Alufoil Trophy.

Source: Amcor

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