Patient Adherence
FEB 6, 2019

Top 4 Packaging Design Features to Improve Patient Adherence

Among the many challenges pharmaceutical brand managers face today, patient safety and adherence remains key.  Poor medication adherence increases the likelihood of preventable disease progression, unnecessary hospitalizations, and avoidable doctor and emergency room visits.  One of the factors that contributes to poor adherence is lack of knowledge, as patients often misunderstand treatment instructions.  Sophisticated label and packaging solutions play a pertinent role in supporting product and patient safety. 

By building the following features into your packaging, you can help build patient adherence: 

  • Convenience

Packaging is a means of containing and delivering a product to a user.  However, consumers want convenient access to pharmaceutical use and information.  Product packaging should allow the intended user to easily open, access and re-pack the medicines, ensuring that the product and related information stay together.  Custom booklet labels and other modern techniques, for instance, can give consumers more simple access to directions, ingredients, and other information.  

  • Communication

Packaging is critical in communicating all information needed for patients to take their medicines correctly.  Dosage schedules and drug delivery methods can vary widely, so the label design must be optimally tailored to meet the specific requirements of the medication.  In addition, pharmaceutical manufacturers need to provide detailed information that caters to multiple audiences – including the availability of text in multiple languages, easy-to-read fonts and sizes, and colors to draw attention to the most important information.  Graphics may be used to aid understanding for those who are illiterate, while braille can be used to support patients who are blind.  By finding innovative ways to present information, drug manufacturers can help prevent misuse by ensuring patients take their medication at proper intervals and quantities.  

  • Protection

Medication labels need to accurately communicate side effects and warnings.  This is how patients can identify medical emergencies and healthcare professionals can better communicate risks.  Improved packaging can also help to protect vulnerable consumers, such as children and the elderly, from taking medications that belong to others.

In addition, packaging helps to protect the product during transportation and throughout the supply chain.  Brand owners can incorporate technologies such as thermochromic inks that are activated by high or low temperatures to help patients monitor storage conditions and ensure medication is safe for use. 

  • Intelligence

Sophisticated label solutions can support patient safety with the integration of RFID and NFC smart technologies.  An NFC tag used with an auto-injector, for instance, can provide a patient with adherence history, reminders, usage guidelines, refill instructions and authentication.  With the information available in custom apps via smartphones, a healthcare professional can monitor patients and whether or not they are adhering to self-medication requirements.  This intelligence would enable doctors to reach out to patients directly and follow-up accordingly.

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