Proprietary pharma – health care
Selecting paperboard for packaging:
- Veterinary OTC products
- Tobacco replacements
- Pharmaceutical Over-The Counter (OTC) products
- First aid products
- Health foods
Reliability, confidence and well-being
Proprietary pharmaceuticals and health care products cover an increasingly wide range of products, all of which aim at improving one's quality of life. The products may be used for their positive effect on health, as well as for the treatment of minor ailments. They convey a sense of reliability, confidence and well-being qualities which also have to be expressed by the packages containing them.
The products are often packed in primary containers, with a paperboard carton providing the overall protection. The basic purpose of the package is to ensure that the product reaches the consumer in perfect condition and, where appropriate, to incorporate safety features. The carton may also play an important promotional role. Durability, strength and overall a hygienic and attractive appeal, are the main criteria when choosing paperboard for proprietary pharmaceuticals and health care products.
Choice of paperboard
The use of proprietary pharmaceuticals and health care products has grown increasingly and now includes nature-pathic products and health foods. The products are often purchased over the counter (OTC), but self-service displays and mail order are becoming increasingly common. This development requires that the promotional qualities of the packages should grow in importance. Relaxation and contentment may very well be added to the basic expression of reliability and hygiene communicated by the package. The visual impact creates expectations on the part of the consumers and makes the products stand out from competitive brands.
A hygienic and attractive appeal is achieved through the package shape and its surface graphics. Important promotional characteristics of the paperboard are whiteness, smoothness and surface finish. A good contrast between the surface of the paperboard and the print is required to achieve good graphical presentation, with sharp half-tone illustrations and clear text for product information. The graphical presentation calls for pure virgin fibres. So does the hygienic appeal, which is enhanced by a white or cream reverse side. Together with selected coating ingredients, the use of virgin fibres ensures good light stability and prevents fading.
In order to keep the product secure from physical hazards in distribution, storage and handling a strong paperboard is required. The integrity of the product can be ensured by incorporating a tamper evident feature in the package design. The protection characteristics have to last as long as they are needed. Sometimes the carton is disposed of immediately when first opened. But, often it needs to last until the contents are all used or consumed. In such circumstances it is opened and closed many times. This requires the closures to withstand handling without failing in function or appearance. Depending on the type of product preservation of aroma and flavour may also be necessary.
Important protective characteristics of the paperboard are folding endurance and compression strength. Good creasing and gluing properties ensure a strong carton. A smooth surface provides for ease of handling. It also provides for good rub and abrasion resistance, thereby preserving the graphical presentation. Product safety, where the product is packed in contact with, or in close proximity to, the paperboard is achieved by the use of pure virgin fibres and validated by meeting internationally accepted standards of safety, e. g. BGVV approval and good manufacturing practice standards like ISO 9000 and RAL-pharm.
Printing and conversion
To obtain efficiency in printing and conversion a flat, stable and dust free paperboard is required. Good absorption and drying properties, as well as good cutting, creasing and gluing properties are important.
Thus a high print quality is ensured, whilst process stoppages and material waste are minimised.
The cartons are usually rectangular in cross section, with tuck-in-flap closures. Sometimes a supporting fitment is inserted. Side seamed cartons are erected, filled and closed on packaging machines, which often insert leaflets with the products. The packaging machines require low creasing resistance, low carton opening force and consistency in stiffness and thickness. For small cartons, these characteristics are of special importance.