Did you notice all of the paperwork stapled to the paper bag of the last set of prescriptions that you picked up? Everything from a black and white scanned photo of the front and the back of the pill included in each of the three prescriptions, to each and every one of the following details:
- patient name
- directions for taking the medicine
- patient date of birth
- patient pay amount
- counseling notes
- patient allergies
- patient gender
- prescribing physician
- number of refills allowed
- drug name
- generic drug name
- written description of the color of the drug
- written description of the shape of the drug
- imprint one, the word stamped on the front of the drug
- imprint two, the word written on the back of the drug
- uses for the drug
- drug warnings
- drug side effects
That is a lot of data, a lot of paper, and a lot of repetition. Current advancements in serialization pharmaceutical practices may some day eliminate the need for some of this paper work. If, for example, each prescription came in a blister package design, rather than receiving three separate prescriptions every month, you might be able to receive a single sealed cardboard box that contains a track and trace pharmaceutical card for each day of the week. Serialization pharmaceutical technologies would allow your personal information to be included on the carded blister packing imprint.
Instead of having to take all three prescription bottles on a vacation, you could simply take a serialization pharmaceutical card for each day that you will be gone. Or, instead of dividing your medication into unsafe and unmarked sealable baggies where the pills are no longer identifiable, your medicine could instead be blister packed on a card that would let you visually know if you had taken your three o’clock cholesterol pill.
Serialization packaging is available in many options. They can differ by color, by style and by card size. While packaging individual pill bottles in cartons has been popular in the past, now that the serialization pharmaceutical process is able to include all of the information formally included on the carton, the individual cartons may someday become unnecessary.
If your vision of daily pill distribution is the image of your 81 year old aunt dividing your 86 year old uncle’s pills into those anonymous baggies that you sometimes see lying on the floor the week after they leave your house. you might welcome the industry’s newest distribution solutions.
Nearly 50% of all Americans have at least one prescription that they take at least one time a day. Can you imagine the simplicity of the nation’s more efficient packaging for half of the people in our country? The future is now. Ask your pharmacist about the new packaging options available for your daily prescriptions.