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      Developing Medical Packaging to Improve Patient Use and Treatment Effectiveness

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      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Abstract

          Previous research, particularly with the elderly, has highlighted the significantly low compliance of this age group when taking medicines. Whilst some may refuse to take medication, others may have difficulties opening packaging. In particular, it can be difficult to swallow tablets from the more commonly used Press Through Packaging (PTP) dispensing packets. Dr. Kiyomi Sadamoto outlines how research has also highlighted that level of compliance suggested by the patient is significantly lower than actual adherence to medicine regimes. In a recent small study, she undertook with colleagues only 2.8 per cent of patients were actually 100 per cent compliant, compared to a perceived 95 per cent compliance by the patients themselves. Only 30 per cent considered clinically to have taken adequate medication. From this study she also learnt that difficulties in packaging use were not just a result of the packaging material, but also the size and layout of sheets, as well as factors such as the size of tablet being extracted and the distance between tablets. ‘In my baseline Japanese study, I investigated the viability of electronic devices to keep information about drug compliance and found these to be quite successful,’ she observes. ‘The research also recognised that there were no real differences in level of compliance based on gender, age or the number of different drugs being taken.’ Sadamoto considers that the results provided real evidence of every day patient pharmaceutical use and identified other issues related to compliance of medication. ‘The devices were able to be checked and monitored every day for levels of drug taking and future research will enable better attention to be given to compliance in more feasible ways even without devices.’ The research identified additional challenges, which Sadamoto is now working on. One of these involves supporting patients who have difficulty swallowing. By working with a radiologist, she aims to use information from MRI and X-ray scanning to establish a better understanding of swallowing, ultimately developing gel which supports taking oral tablets. ‘This research aims to try to propose better ways for patients with swallowing difficulties and those needing strict drug taking regimes to receive medication,’ she says. In addition, the research also aims to develop devising material PTP which can be found with simple X-ray in early stages to understand and prevent swallowing of tablets through accidental press PTP sheet medication where problems with accidental doses are quite common. Sadamoto has seen some promising results from this research. ‘When I discovered, with the help of my student, that if we design a powder drug package that is able to be opened with a force of less than 10N then most users are able to open it without difficulty, which was very pleasing,’ she highlights. This is simple and understandable evidence which can be used for designing packages by any pharmaceutical company. ‘I recently presented the analysis of new design blister package, which was made with a packaging company who needed to understand the usability among the elderly,’ she says. ‘The idea was very practical for elderly users who tried the package.’

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Impact
          impact
          Science Impact, Ltd.
          2398-7073
          December 31 2018
          December 31 2018
          : 2018
          : 12
          : 38-40
          Article
          10.21820/23987073.2018.12.38
          © 2018

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering

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