Novel Drug Delivery Hopes to Strip Away Colds

 

 

Theraflu Thin Strips provide a new way to treat the common cold.

Novartis Consumer Health Inc. aims to ease and speed cough and cold relief with new dosage forms for Theraflu and Triaminic. The multiple-symptom remedies will soon be available in Thin Strips that dissolve on the tongue within seconds.

According to Mark Smedley, vice president of product supply and logistics, the Novartis thin strips use technology similar to that of other strips on the market, but with a proprietary taste- masking system designed to mask the negative taste associated with the active ingredients. �They are good tasting,� he says, �but they still taste like medicine.� The strips are flexible yet resist breaking into pieces, helping to deliver complete and accurate dosing. 

The strips are individually wrapped in child-resistant laminated-film pouches. �The child-resistant package features our version of the bend-and-tear approach,� Smedley adds. �We feel it�s our responsibility to use child-resistant packaging and in fact all Triaminic liquids and soft chews have child-resistant packaging as well.� At the same time, however, Novartis� package design team also worked to ensure that the pouches were adult friendly, he says.

The size of the strips is the same�22 mm wide � 32 mm long�and the pouches for both the Theraflu and Triaminic strips are the same size: 31�2 � 11�2 in. �To follow good engineering principles, we made the pouches the same size,� he says. The pouches also needed to be big enough to accommodate the Drug Facts panel, which is on the back of every pouch. Full brand graphics are also printed on each pouch.
Novartis is working with an unnamed contract packager that will use equipment that the two companies developed together. �We needed specially designed equipment that could handle the cutting and slitting of the specially engineered films we chose,� Smedley says. �The equipment required a few wrinkles on what was currently available.�

The strips will be provided in five-panel cartons, 16 strips to a Triaminic carton and 12 strips in a Theraflu carton, with the fifth panel acting as the front panel. �The fifth panel gives us a bigger board for branding,� Smedley says. The carton will be stocked at some retailers in shelf systems that automatically push products to the front of the shelf. �We engineered our packaging to ensure that it works with our customers� shelving,� he says. 

Other store displays will include stand-alone displays, PDQ options, clip strips, floor-stand/power-wing displays, and an inner pack tray that converts to a counter unit. 

Novartis chose to use Theraflu�s existing logo and packaging graphics for the new product packaging. However, the cartons are metallized to �pop out on the shelves,� Smedley says. Electronic article surveillance tags placed inside the cartons will help deter theft.

According to Novartis, consumer research has indicated that 70% of current Theraflu users would use the new thin strips. Also, more than 80% of consumers recognized the advantages of the strips, citing portability, dosing ease and accuracy, and overall convenience. 

 

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