The introduction of the Citizen Pack is timely as the market for pharmaceutical containers – already considerable, is still growing. Recent estimates for blister packs predict that this sector of the market will enjoy above average growth with US production, alone, likely to exceed $1 billion in 2004.
This expansion adds to the already increasing pressure on manufacturers to offer child resistant blister packaging. The US is leading the way in this respect with regulation already in place that requires child resistance for non-reclosable packaging for certain prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products. Britain is soon to follow, the UK Health Minister announcing on 26th November 2002 the proposal to introduce regulations to implement the new British Standard for child resistant packaging for non-reclosable containers. These regulations aim to make the standard mandatory for all new products containing aspirin, paracetamol and iron.
A particular challenge in the design of child resistant packaging is to ensure that conditions do not arise where it can become difficult or impossible for senior citizens, who may have, for instance, arthritis or impaired eyesight, to access their medication. Team Consulting has overcome this problem by developing a concept for a simple moulded plastic component that can be used to house standard blister packs, rendering them both child resistant and senior friendly within a disposable, attractive casing. The device incorporates a locking mechanism requiring a co-ordinated action by the user to release the buttons, which assist in the removal of the tablets.
The efficacy of Team’s design concept should deliver an 01 level of child protection as designated by the Child Protection Safety Council, in addition to offering robustness and visual appeal – factors that place it ahead of any existing competitive approaches.
To date, a number of prototypes proving the principle of the design have been manufactured and have received positive feedback. As a result, Team is currently seeking to identify commercial partners for exploitation of the technology.
Team’s intellectual property is protected by patent applications.