Could Pharmacy Vials Be Failing?

Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions Inc. (Pittsburgh; PHSI) has announced its study results comparing eight leading brands of prescription packaging vials. PHSI studied the vials for child resistance according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) protocol and for moisture permeation and light transmission according to standards from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Most of the vials tested did not pass all three test criteria at the highest level, PHSI said in a press release. The study sponsor was anonymous at press time.

“Pharmacists concerned about their packaging should request documentation from the prescription packaging manufacturer on the test results for [the] child-resistant protocol, moisture permeation, and light transmission,” according to Donald Dietz, RPh, vice president, PHSI. “Tests should show that the package meets or exceeds all testing standards. The selection of a prescription package that meets CPSC and USP standards should be important for the dispensing pharmacist.”

PHSI said that the only product that passed all three test criteria at the highest levels was the Screw-Loc vial from Rexam.

When asked whether pharmacists are interested in having pharmaceutical manufacturers provide unit-of-use packaging that provides the adequate protection right from the start in either a bottle or a blister package, Dietz responded: “Yes, many pharmacists and consumers would appreciate unit-of-use packaging.” He adds that from a pharmacy perspective, “it often could reduce [or] eliminate the task of counting medication. It would eliminate patients’ saying, ‘You short-counted me a pill or two.’ Consumers find packaging desirable from the manufacturer as they can see the manufacturer-posted lot and expiration date on the bottle.”

He adds that, “Target would not like unit-of-use packaging, as it has branded its unique vials and uses them whenever possible for prescriptions dispensed at its pharmacies.”

For a copy of the complete study, please visit: www.phsirx.com/ComputerTalk/Medications_Dispensing.pdf.

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