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Primary packing – Pharmaceutical Products

Type of Primary packing in Pharmaceutical products

Packaging is a vital part of any industry because the product quality and safety depends on the packaging. Not only it is important from handling perspective but also from the marketing & branding point of view. In particular, if we talk about pharmaceutical industry – packing has following roles :-

a) Storage

b) Usage

c) Handling and transportation

d) Branding and marketing

e) Avoiding containment

f) Chemical protection from outer environment

g) Dosage control

There are different type of packaging in pharmaceutical industry i.e Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and quaternary . Our focus here is Primary packaging.

Definition – Primary packaging in Pharmaceutical industry is the packaging which is in direct touch with the medicine. It is the most important packaging because not only it keeps the medicine safe but it also helps the medicine in being in same state as it is packed, by avoiding any kind of chemical reaction.

Materials used in Primary packaging

Basic criteria to choose primary packaging material is that it should be inert and should not have any chemical reaction with the medicine it is coming in direct contact. As per different dosage forms and their chemical nature following materials are used :-

  1. Plastic – This is the most common form of material used. Plastic is low in weight and insert to solid and some liquid form of dosages. This is the reason it is most widely used material in primary packaging in Tablets, capsules, soft-gelatin capsules and syrups etc. Plastic is not as good as glass for liquids but it is definitely cost effective.
  2. Glass – Glass is widely used as primary material as its inertness level is high and it does not react with medicines, another important aspect of glass is visibility. It is very easy to inspect the medicine without opening the container. Downside of using glass is its durability and chances of breakage. Handling has to be more careful when using glass as a packaging mode.
  3. Metal – Metal is also a packaging medium but its chemical reaction probability and weight are negative factors. Due to this it is not used frequently. Mostly it is used as a primary packaging material in Gels with an inert coating to avoid any kind of chemical reaction,

Some common Primary packaging examples.

a) Blister packaging – In Blister packaging a thermoformed plastic is taken and a cavity is made in it. Once the dosage form is placed in the cavity , it is sealed with the aluminum or plastic foil. The dosage form remains safe inside , it can be 10 , 6, 15, 3 or 20 cavities as per the requirement of the manufacturer.

Primary packing pharma blister
Primary packing pharma blister

b) Strip packaging – Form of packaging in unit dosage is known as strip form. In this packaging type each unit is protected separately and shelf-life of product increases.

c) Ampules – Ampule is a small container in which liquid is packed. Ampule is made of glass and its short form is Amp.

Primary packing ampule
Primary packing ampule

d) Vials – Vial is a container made of Plastic or Glass. It is of size larger than ampule. Solid, liquid or powder form of dosage is stored in a Vial.

e) Bottles –  Bottle of different size are used for primary packaging of syrups or powders sometimes. They can be of 60ml, 100 ml, 170ml, 200ml, 500 ml and so on as per the requirement. Bottles can be both plastic or glass.

There are many guidelines of government of India for the packaging materials and handling which have to be taken care of.

A pcd pharma company can choose its packaging type and let the manufacturer know about it. If feasible as per the GOI guidelines manufacturer can use that material for your products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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