Over-the-counter packaging refers to the containers used to hold any sort of pharmaceutical products designed for sale without requiring a prescription. While OTC drugs are sold without the need for a doctor’s prescription, the FDA still sets extremely specific guidelines on how they’re packaged. Certain standards of cleanliness and safety help ensure that consumers always receive pure products that don’t contain any traces of chemicals other than those specifically named on the label.
Drug and cosmetic companies have to pay close attention to what kinds of tubes or bottles they use to ship liquid products. OTC filling involves much more than just putting the product in any box that fits. No one wants their product spilling out on a store shelf, which means that people pay a good deal of attention to how well these containers hold up over time.
Both practical considerations and safety rules influence the packaging that is used for countless types of products. Consumers usually wouldn’t consider something like toothpaste or mouthwash to be health care products. Nevertheless, they’re held to the same standards as any other kind of medicine or treatment. Therefore, manufacturers have to test for the presence of lead and other toxic compounds in the packaging. This is where contract filling businesses usually come into play.
Health and beauty companies often sign contracts with firms that specialize in OTC filling techniques. For instance, LF of America accepts shipments of cosmetic and health care products in the forms of gels, creams, liquids, and serums. They then use hypoallergenic silicone applicators to fill orders in accordance with the ISO 8 guidelines for clean room operations. Few companies would be able to do this on their own since it would be too expensive. Contracting with a trusted third party is an economical option that prevents firms from having to hire their own compliance experts.
Marketing is another concern when companies design packaging. Consumers often make decisions while browsing the shelves in the OTC section of their local pharmacy. Most OTC market segments are already quite crowded, so companies want to stand out from their competition. While graphic design is a big part of this effort, drug companies have found other innovative ways to get noticed.
Some firms that manufacture drugs for daily use now package pills in seven-count blister packs. Other companies are looking into what they call “consumerized packaging,” which makes it easier for customers to remember when to take their next dose. Regardless of which innovations come next, contract filling firms will be right there, ready to evolve with the market.