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Drug Packaging – The Prescription for Success

Tassilo Korab at the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council of Europe (HCPC Europe)

Do you know this feeling? You are about to leave your home, you are in a hurry and all of a sudden there are those nagging doubts about whether or not you have taken your medication this morning. You go back to the bathroom, but checking the pack with the medication doesn’t help. There is nothing that indicates whether you have taken your daily dose, and since you don’t want to risk an overdose, you shut the medicine cupboard and leave home, taking your doubts and concerns with you.

People who have to follow a medicinal regimen often have this experience. In addition, the number of medications people have to take often increases with age, as does the risk of non-adherence to the regimen. Many of these people are not really ‘patients’ at all. They don’t suffer in any way, but they most likely will at a later date if their condition remains untreated. They may, for example, have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or an increased level of cholesterol.

In some cases, medicinal treatment will not be able to remove the cause of the condition but will control it to such a level that a good quality of life with little or no restraints can be enjoyed. Such treatment, called secondary prevention, is an essential part of healthcare and is a key element in the cost effectiveness of healthcare expenditure. Pennies not spent on prudent secondary prevention may cost many pounds at a later date.

Clinical trials and data ascertained about the human body’s reaction to modern medicines provide proof of the importance of patient compliance. The introduction of antibiotics highlighted the dangers of non-compliance more than any drug in the past. The consequences were looked at, widening the scope of the investigations from just the failure of the treatment to the causes, the forms and the cost of non-compliance, as well as its impact on public health.


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