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Biological PackagingDesign Tip

Top Questions to Ask When Designing Pharmaceutical Packaging

September 8, 2021 | William Arnold

When approached to design packaging for a new pharmaceutical drug or device, there are a couple of factors that are important to know and understand. Typically, there are two types of questions I ask to prospective clients. These questions help me understand the product and it’s use case. When designing packaging, it is very important that you understand not just the device but the user. For example, is remaining compliant with their medication difficult? If so, this is something you can help to solve for in the packaging design.

Here are couple of the questions I ask to help aid in my packaging design process:

  • Is it a long-term or short-term delivery system?
  • What is the most effective while the least invasive?
  • What materials are available?
  • What technologies are required to support the full process of monitoring or treatment?
  • What is the primary user demographic, and what are their abilities to interact with the product?
  • What must be communicated to the user that is intuitive to us?
  • Does the product require strict scheduling or specific timing to be effective? (An example is Hepatitis C. The cure medication offers one shot to get it right. There is a 99% chance you will be cured, but if you mess it up, that’s it, you can’t do it again.) How can we make sure this happens correctly?
  • Does this need large print? Pictures?
  • Does this require Child Resistance and Senior Friendly testing?
  • Can color-coding help explain the how-to?
  • Does the user understand the application and what it does?
  • Does the user’s diagnosis impact their capabilities in any way?
  • What language barriers need to be considered for global markets?
  • What resources can be created to reinforce education and compliance?
  • Will video help the user more effectively than another method?
William Arnold
Creative Director
Oliver Design

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