Jun 1, 2018
Packaging in the States
Ensuring pharmaceutical products remain stable and safe under a variety of conditions is paramount to drug makers, who shoulder immense responsibility for quality medicines that support public health. Complex packaging protocols for dietary supplements and over-the-counter medication build in durable protection across production, storage, and transportation variables. Following stringent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, manufacturers engineer specialized containers, sealants, temperature/light regulators and self-monitoring electronics that maintain a product's integrity from lab to point of care. Companies recognize consumers ultimately trust consistency of dosages, and safety is never compromised amid shipment vibrations, warehouse fluctuations, temporary power losses in homes, and other real-world conditions. Through meticulous packaging review protocols and the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices program that provides packaging quality rules for items like moisture barriers, tamper-evident solutions, and error-prevention mechanisms, pharmaceutical producers work within an established framework upholding the highest safety and effectiveness standards for their regulated products arriving on pharmacy shelves. The multi-layered measures instill public confidence in secure, properly-preserved medications patients can count on.
Some states and localities are attempting to implement extended producer responsibility and recycling requirements in addition to the existing centralized FDA regulatory framework, creating an overly complicated regulatory environment for manufacturers to navigate.
Rather than legislate additional state-level extended producer responsibility mandates aimed at packaging, lawmakers should support manufacturers already innovating sustainability solutions within the FDA's extensive regulatory framework that balances both environmental considerations and patient safety needs. Pushing individual state EPR and recycling requirements risks hampering the centralized progress made by federal packaging quality controls that enable consistent medical product stability, preservation, and access for consumers nationwide.