Packaging Technology in Pharmaceutical Industries

Packaging is designed to contain a product so that it is unable to interact with the environment. After containment protection is most important function of packaging. The product must be protected against the physical damage, loss of content or ingredients and intrusion of unwanted component of the environment such as water vapor, oxygen, dirt and light. An important role of pharmaceutical packaging is to transform the formulation into an attractive and marketable product. Pharmaceutical companies increasingly are working to improve productivity and reduce costs in their manufacturing and packaging operations. Expanding markets and innovative marketing strategies have led to an increased demand in packaging products. So many issues regarding the pharmaceutical product like stability, sell, patient compliance etc are related with the packaging and in regard to this; present review is done on the various advancements in the packaging techniques and selection of packaging material.
Packaging played a significant role in the pharmaceutical field as it maintains the integrity of product by many ways, like providing presentation, protection, identification, information. Containment, convenience and compliance for a product during storage, carriage, display and until the product is consumed. This article provides the various aspects of packaging like materials used for packaging, types of packaging, functions of packaging, factor influencing the choice of package, containers, closures and robotics as well as recent trends of pharmaceutical packaging and also future of pharmaceutical packaging technology in pharmaceutical market.

Packaging is the science, art, and technology of enclosing products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. It is also refers to the process of design, evaluation, and production of packages. Packaging is a bridge connecting the production with marketing (Copper and Gunn, 2005). It is an economical means of providing protection, presentation, identification, information and convenience for a pharmaceutical product from the moment of production until it is used or administered (Lockhart and Paine, 2006).

Packaging is system or means by which the product will reach from production center to the consumer in a safe and sound condition with minimum loss. A package refers to the container closure system and labeling, associated components (e.g., dosing cups, droppers, spoons), and external packaging.

In recent years, pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging operations have struggled to respond quickly to market demand while overcoming operational inefficiencies. An increase in the number and complexity of product configurations, coupled with the demands of compliance with regulations in a time of growing market pressure, has made it a challenge to maintain a stable performance in the market place. New marketing strategies adopted by pharmaceutical companies have initiated the introduction of more packaging configurations to facilitate meeting customer requirements with greater precision. In an effort to compete under these circumstances, pharmaceutical manufacturers have seen the need to become lean and flexible, streamlining their operations and achieving a significant increase in quality, process and compliance management. Packaging is a critical tool in the pharmaceutical industry for product delivery and regulatory compliance; many pharmaceutical companies will do all their packaging within a contamination free environment or clean room. Some common pharmaceutical packaging techniques include foil and heat sealing; polyester and olefin package printing; polyethylene and polypropylene printing; and flatbed die cutting (Yoxall et al., 2006).