The Importance Of Proper Packaging For Pharmaceuticals

Expensive cancer drugs are highly toxic and they have to be properly packaged to protect caregivers and healthcare workers from being exposed to the effects of chemotherapy drugs. Packaging need not be elaborate or complex because the idea here is to simply prevent a vial from breaking. When the glass vial shatters whether accidentally or intentionally and the contents scattered, healthcare workers may suffer from dire health consequences. In the event of a breakage, cleanup and decontamination procedures can be very costly.

Proper packaging of toxic drugs is very important to ensure protection for those who are involved in packaging, transport, administration and discard of the drug. In a 2011 study that monitored the risks to nurses who are treating patients with chemotherapy drugs, it showed that nearly 17% of the nurses working in centers where chemotherapy drugs are infused to outpatients are subjected to drug exposure on their skins and eyes.

In a recent research on 1,339 oncology nurses who are working in Michigan’s outpatient setting, about 84% of chemotherapy drugs are delivered in the particular setting. Unintentional exposure to chemotherapy drugs can be dangerous because it affects the nervous system and reproductive system not to mention that it increases the risk of having cancer in the future.

In order to protect the glass vial of the highly toxic drug, effective packaging and segregation techniques must be followed to avoid contamination prior to distribution. Packaging should clearly state the segregation technique used so that other individuals can undertake additional precautions. Packaging materials must be durable and should prevent any accidental leakage during handling and transport. Packaging materials must be tamper-proof so that if breakage occurs during shipping the content can be contained. Extensive drop testing from various heights can be undertaken to check whether the packaging material chosen is effective for the product.

To ensure product integrity during shipping, many manufacturers make use of bubble wrap not only as a wrapper but as cushioning material. Bubble wrap can be placed along the sides and corners of the shipping box to prevent the movement of the fragile item. Paper Mart bubble wrap is ideal for protective packaging of pharmaceuticals.