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THE PHARMA REVIEW (DECEMBER 2008)

Trends in Pharma Packaging

Arun Arya, Yogesh Murti, Vijay Sharma, Kamla Pathak and Devender Pathak

Abstract: Packaging is a combination of science, art and technology. Considering the growing demand of packaging in the consumer market, it is observed that most of the consumer products manufacturing companies are demanding packaging professionals for procuring consistent qualitative packaging materials in optimum cost. In addition, it is also observed that the purchase and marketing departments of various companies who deal with the packaging material require packaging experts. However, experts maintain that while investing and innovating in packaging, some key hallmarks have to be taken care of.
 
The pharma packaging industry in India is still in a nascent stage. Packaging has not been adequately leveraged as a marketing tool in India but the fact that pharma market is becoming highly competitive - some companies have realized the role of packaging as a brand-building tool. "First impression is the last impression. Packaging plays a very important role in creating that impression for any product. But when it comes to pharmaceuticals, it has to go beyond looks".
 
Introduction
The field of packaging of drugs and pharmaceuticals has witnessed a revolution in the recent years. The trend has been accelerated by economic liberalization. Any product, either food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, engineering or electronic, do require optimum package design to get through the production center and to reach the consumer in safe and sound condition. And this, of course, should be with the minimum cost of packaging.
 
In other words, the subject of packaging has become very important for the marketing of any product as packaging acts as an instrument or tool for marketing. Packaging also makes a bridge between production and marketing. By definition, packaging is defined as a techno-economic means for minimizing cost of delivery and maximizing the sales. In other words, it's a system dealing with handling, storage, distribution, retailing and final use.
 
Presentation and looks are crucial when it comes to selling because it creates a feel good factor in the product which convinces the buyer or the consumer to choose that particular product over others on the shelf. The thumb rule is applicable to pharmaceuticals as much as to any other product because packaging of drugs needs to convey that feel good factor to a patient who needs that drug to be cured. However, packaging of drugs is not only about the feel good factor. The packaging of drugs is also used to disseminate important information regarding the drug like its contents or chemical formula, usage, storage, dosage, precautions related to the drug usage, dates of manufacturing and expiry, batch number etc. Besides, packaging of drugs also needs to satisfy consumer expectations. Actually packaging adds value, ensures drug quality & freshness, provides tamper identification, arrests spurious drugs entry, keeps check on adulteration, vehicle for product story, helps meet statutory regulations, source for brand & co identify, offers traceability, aid for storage / productivity / distribution, silent sales resource and aids market promotion.

 

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