Blister packs are a common choice for medication, due to their convenience and ability to keep the medication in good condition. This is fast growing market is expected to reach $46.74 Billion in 2030.
However, they have a drawback: the potential for humidity damage. This is because moisture can penetrate the packaging, putting your medication’s safety and effectiveness at risk. In this article, we will look at the different lid-stock options available to you when designing blister packs for medication, and we will help you determine the best materials for your needs.
Foil Lid-Stock versus Foil Over-Wrap
Foil ‘lid-stock’, (also known as blister pack lidding), is a thin layer of material used to cover a base tray, and provides secure closure, while keeping external elements from contaminating the contents. An ‘Over-Wrap’, which is an additional layer of packaging material, can offer extra protection.
For most applications, standard blister pack lid-stock provides adequate protection. However, in harsh conditions such as ICH Zone 4, high temperatures, humidity, and UV light can significantly decrease shelf-life, and alter the product’s organoleptic properties. In these cases, additional protection is required.
“Look at the different lid-stock options available to you when designing blister packs for medication, and we will help you determine the best materials for your needs”
Foils for Those Designing Blister Packs for Medication
Your product will be protected by standard blister pack lid-stock in most applications, also known as ICH Zones 1-3. Aluminium foil is the base material for standard lid-stock, which is then coated with various low-cost heat-seal lacquers. This foil lid-stock is compatible with various base-trays, including those composed of Polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), or Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). Two primary types of standard blister foils are available in our range: Non-Peelable (push through) Foil and Peelable Foil.
1. Non-Peelable Lid-Stock Foil (Push Through)
Push Through Packaging (PTP), also referred to as non-peelable or press-through lid-stock, consists of a low thickness aluminium foil (18-20µm). PTP is made by laminating aluminium foil to an inner heat seal film, rather than a heat seal lacquer coating. This type of blister packaging is a popular choice for pharmaceutical companies, because it provides individual sealed compartments for each tablet, enabling the end-user to conveniently push each tablet out, through its cavity, without compromising the protection of the remaining pills. The upper side of the standard PTP lid-stock can be plain or coated (and printed) with a clear protective lacquer.
2. Peelable Lid-Stock Foil
Peelable lid-stock is a type of foil that allows for easy removal from the plastic blister tray. Unlike push-through blisters, where each item is individually sealed, peelable lid-stock provides full access to all of the contents inside the cavity, once the lid is removed. Therefore, you will see that peelable lid-stock is commonly used for products that are housed in a single cavity, particularly fragile and sensitive medical supplies such as: suture supplies, stents, and surgical blades. If your product requires a rigid blister cavity for structural protection, and easy access to its contents, a single cavity blister, with a peelable lid is best.
Moreover, the peelable lid-stock can serve as a tamper-proof seal since once the lid is removed, it cannot be resealed. Nevertheless, this feature limits the pack’s ability to contain multiple products in a single compartment, because opening the foil will expose all the items at once.
Blister Packs for Medication… Foils for Extreme Environments
If your product is likely to be sold or stored in tropical climates, then B-SURE™ Tropical Blister Packaging provides the best solution. It comes in two formats, BFP ENHANCED and BFP ULTIMATE; both are tailored to safeguard pharmaceutical formulations within ICH Pharma Zone 4.
With TBP-ENHANCED, your standard foil/PVC blister-packs are enclosed by a flexible foil Over-Pack. However, the standard blister-pack material provides limited protection once the over-pack is opened. TBP-ULTIMATE offers better protection, but it is also more expensive. In many instances, TBP-ENHANCED provides all the protection that is required.
TBP-ULTIMATE is the ultimate moisture barrier. These packs are manufactured according to GMP standards, in a Class R100,000 clean room facility. They’re comprised of a Cold Formed Foil under-tray and lid, giving them unrivalled protection against moisture, oxidation, and UV damage. It’s the best possible protection, because even after opening the first cavity, the remaining cavities remain protected.
Printing and Minimum Order Quantities
We have Flexographic, Gravure, and Thermal Printing capabilities, and a range of over 10 different colours, enabling us to manage your most intricate artwork. We are happy to work with companies of all sizes – so it doesn’t matter if you have two or two thousand employees, just give us a call on +44 (0) 1628 531 900 and we will be happy to help!
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With over 60 years of combined experience handling foil laminates, you can rely on our expertise to handle your project. Call us today on +44 (0) 1628 531 900, and allow us to help you…
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What to Read Next…
1: S. Shukar, F. Zahoor, K. Hayat, A. Saeed, A. H. Gillani, S. Omer, S. Hu, Z.-U.-D. Babar, Y. Fang, and C. Yang, “Drug shortage: Causes, impact, and Mitigation Strategies,” Frontiers in pharmacology, 09-Jul-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8299364. [Accessed: 31-Mar-2023]
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