IoPP Announces AmeriStar Winners


Actonel (above) won the Best of Show award and Abreva (below) won an award in the pharmaceutical category.

The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP; Naperville, IL) has announced the winners of this year's AmeriStar Awards, recognizing the most innovative new packages of 2003.

Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals (P&G; Cincinnati) received the Best of Show award for the Actonel Dosepak, patented by MeadWestvaco (Mebane, NC). The Dosepak also won an award in the pharmaceutical category. Actonel is a once-a-week dose regimen to prevent and treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. "We needed to have the highest level of child protection for this drug," says Ellen Loughren, principal researcher for P&G. With its innovative locking mechanism, "this package meets the highest level of child resistance while being very easy to use."

In addition to improving access to the drug, the Dosepak helps patients adhere to their dosing regimen. "An extra flap on the top of the carton provides more billboard space for instructions,"  says Brad Jones, compliance development specialist for MeadWestvaco. Furthermore, "The combination of a fifth and sixth panel produces a pocket that contains the patient information leaflet. The leaflet stays with the product so that patients can go back and reference it during the course of therapy."

AGI/Klearfold's (New York City) Durafold security packaging for GlaxoSmithKine's (Research Triangle Park, NC) Abreva also won an award in the pharmaceutical category. Durafold cartons are made from a polypropylene-based synthetic paperboard that provides greater tear resistance and stronger seals than traditional folding carton substrates. "Abreva is our first commercial application," says Patrick McGee, marketing manager for AGI/Klearfold. "The benefit of Durafold is that it looks just like paperboard. So, if a customer is already using paperboard, they don't have to change anything." The package also helps reduce in-store pilferage.

In the medical device category, Thysen Consulting (Portola Valley, CA) won an award for a desiccant sealant foil pouch designed for LifeScan's (Newtown, PA) diagnostic test strips. The pouch material, provided by Pechiney Plastic Packaging (Chicago), consists of a desiccant combined with the inner sealant layer of the foil. The pouches were made on a Doyen Medipharm (Lakeland, FL) pouching machine. According to David Thysen, consulting engineer, this is the first time this product has been used for a medical application. LifeScan had been packaging five test strips in a bottle with a canister desiccant; however, this method was wasteful and expensive, he says. There was also the risk that the end-user would forget to replace the bottle cap, resulting in possible spoilage of the test strips. Using separate pouches for each test strip eliminated this problem and improved product security. The individually wrapped strips also reduced packaging costs by eliminating the need for a separate desiccant material.

Perfecseal (Oshkosh, WI) won an award in the medical device category for its Metaphyseal implant package. This double-barrier thermoformed design eliminates unnecessary packaging and reduces costs by 40%. Other benefits include inventory and labor cost reductions, and environmental improvements. 

In the regulated packaging category, the AmeriStar Award went to Thermo Solutions Inc. (Minneapolis) for the Golden Hour container used to transport red blood cells and other temperature-sensitive medical supplies for military applications. This lightweight, portable, passive container maintains a constant temperature for 48 to 72 hours in very warm or cold conditions. The container is reusable and requires no ice or external power. 


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