December's packaging deal between McKesson and Burgopak is further evidence of drug industry's determination to improve patient compliance. in-PharmaTechnologist asked Burgopak's global head of automation Mark Symonds for further details of the groundbreaking accord.
Aside from the significant health risk to patients, non-compliance costs around $177bn a year, based on both wasted drug production and indirect costs such as lost workplace productivity.
As a result drugmakers and regulators worldwide are keen to improve patient compliance through any means available, including making alterations to the way pharmaceuticals are packaged.
The Burgopak packaging system that McKesson gains access to under last month's deal uses a central sliding band that contains a 'Pull' component, which can be either a piece of cardboard or a product blister, attached to a drug information leaflet.
Symonds explained that: “The benefit to patient compliance is the guaranty that the booklet is always conveniently attached to the 'Pull' component and so always available for reference.
“The [drug] product is always attached to the package through the sliding band, ensuring the component is always protected by the package's outer carton.”
Symonds added that Burgopak manufacturing machine, which is produced on the firm’s behalf by Switzerland’s Sigpack Systems, would be installed at McKesson's facility in Memphis, Tennesee in early 2010.
He went on to say that while: “terms of the agreement with McKesson are confidential. Burgopak will be happy to discuss the use of Burgopaks in the US with pharmaceutical companies and others.”
Symonds explained that the technology was being used by Bayer for its Rennie ‘Ice’ product and the Healthcare Branding Company for its PocketPak paracetamol and ibuprofen products and added that further major drug industry clients would be announced this year.
In a press statement Kirk Kaminsky, VP of McKesson’s pharmaceutical packaging business said: “McKesson RxPak is proud to be the first U.S. packaging company to provide Burgopak’s award-winning compliance packaging to pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare consumers in the US,” said Kirk Kaminsky.
“McKesson is committed to delivering solutions that help improve patient health outcomes, and our new licensing agreement with Burgopak can enable us to do this by addressing many of the reasons why consumers are noncompliant when it comes to taking their medication,” he added.