The new blisters, which were launched last week, are larger than other packs in the range in order to accommodate twice daily dosing regimens according to company spokeswoman Alison von Puschendorf.
Puschendorf told Outsourcing-Pharma that the Shellpack 170 had been developed in response to customer requests for greater flexibility and explained that “choosing the correct [packaging] design is key to helping patients adhere to treatments.”
She said that the “calenderised blisters are large enough to display safety and administration guidance,” adding that this allows patients to refer to the packs directly for instruction as opposed to having to consult a separate information leaflet.
Puschendorf explained that other blisters in the Shellpak range had been readily adopted by drugmakers and pharmacists, most notably Wallmart in the US, and added that MWV had started to work directly with pharmaceutical manufacturers.
In a press statement, MWV president Ted Lithgow explained the rationale for developing the new product was to make it easier for patients to comply with treatments which, he added, will boost the cost efficiency of the US healthcare system overall.
Dr Lithgow said that a recent World Health Organization (WHO) survey had found that “the consequences of poor adherence to long-term therapies are poor health outcomes and increased health costs.”
Patient adherence has been a key focus for MWV this year. In January the firm launched its Dosepak Express product, which combines a blister pack, information insert or card into one unit.
Quality of information is vital
While MWV’s efforts provide additional space for adherence and compliance information on drug packs, a recent survey reiterated the importance of making these instructions clear, simple and easy to follow.
In March, data published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine showed that a simplified form of drug labelling introduced by US pharmacy chain Target in 2005 had not brought about a significant improvement in either patient compliance or adherence.
The authors suggested that greater government control of labelling through a national system of standards would go some way to resolving the problem and added that self regulation has been ineffective.