Smart Packaging Improves AdherenceTue Dec 18, 2018
An astonishing number of people take medications at the wrong time, at the wrong dose or not at all. In fact, most sources report only about 50% of prescriptions are taken according to the doctor’s orders. This translates into billions of dollars in health care costs, unnecessary suffering and premature deaths.
Medications are not taken as prescribed for many reasons including difficulty remembering to take doses, failure to refill prescriptions promptly, dose regimen frequency and/or complexity, medication cost, side effects and a lack of understanding of the importance of the medication to optimum health.
Consistently taking the right dose at the right time, a concept called compliance, or adherence, can be aided by packaging design and technology. As a result, the market for adherence packaging is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2% between 2017 and 2022 to reach $917.7 million in 2022, according to a report from MarketsandMarkets, Adherence Packaging Market, By System (Unit-dose, Multi-dose) Type (Blister Card, Pouch) Material (Plastic, Paper & Paperboard, Aluminum) End User (Retail, Long-term Care Facility, Hospital, Mail-order Pharmacies) - Global Forecast to 2022.
The study notes blister cards dominate the market. In addition to the potential for providing on-pack calendars, blister packaging can enhance shelf life, tamper resistance and portability, simplify storage and reduce dispensing time.
Intelligent packaging, the more interactive segment of smart packaging, offers an even higher level of communication between product and patient by providing ways to collect, store and transmit information about dosing and potentially deliver alerts and interventional messages. These connected products depend on technologies such as near-field communication, radio frequency identification, software, Smartphones, the Cloud and the Internet. This connectivity can improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs by increasing patient adherence, personalizing treatments, monitoring patients in real-time and detecting day-to-day changes in disease condition.
For example, Aptar Pharma, a supplier of packaging components such as closures and metered dose inhalers, and Propeller Health, a specialist in connectivity, analytics and related digital experiences, partnered to introduce the world’s first connected metered dose inhaler in 2016, and continue to work together to develop digital medicines that will help patients take the right dose at the right time.
There also are a variety of connected caps available. The CleverCap offering from Compliance Meds Technologies is an intelligent closure with an optional companion app that offers a range of functions including recording bottle access, providing visual or audible dose reminders and locking access between doses. The companion app syncs information to the Cloud via Bluetooth technology, allows for prescriber-approved dosing schedule changes, monitors dosing and allows patients or caregivers to customize alerts. An online reporting and analytics portal provides a user interface to monitor patient behavior via detailed dosing logs and exceptions reporting and can engage patients with personalized messages.
Another option, the Smart-pill bottle from DoseSmart, works in conjunction with its Smartphone application and software that provides data analytics and other tools. The Smartphone app allows the patient or medical professional to create a treatment plan and set reminders for time, day and dosage, while the Smart-pill bottle stores, dispenses and tracks medications and sends adherence data to the DoseSmart cloud.
Pillsy offers similar 24/7 medication support via a smart cap, which is sold on Amazon, and a user-friendly app.
For inhaled drug delivery systems, Sanner and Amiko are partnering to integrate the latter’s patented sensor technology in existing or new devices. Respiro Sense sensors not only track dry powder inhaler usage, but also help ensure the patient is using the proper administration technique.