General WarningsMedicines

Describe Four Types Of Packaging That Prevent Tampering With Medicine.

Anti-tampering packaging is designed to clearly indicate that a medication has been previously opened. The four types of packaging that prevent tampering with medicine include:

  • Foil wrappers: Paper, foil or plastic with a distinctive design is sealed over all carton flaps or a container cap.

•        The seal or pack must be ripped or broken to gain access to the product

•        The seal cannot be removed and reapplied, or the carton side-seam breached, without showing visible evidence of entry

  • Plastic seals: The product and container are sealed in a plastic bubble and mounted in or on a display card.

•        The plastic and/or card must be ripped or broken to gain access to the product

•        The backing material cannot be separated from the bubble or replaced without leaving visible evidence of entry

•        Bubble pack seals must be intact, complete, and sealed all the way around

  • Sealed packages: Individual doses (for example, capsules or tablets) are sealed in pockets between a pre-formed tray and a lidding material, or between two layers of material bonded together to form a continuous strip, so that the dosage units are separated and individually protected.

•        The blister or strip pack seals around individual compartments and the strip as a whole, must be intact and complete

•        The individual compartment of the pack must be ripped or broken to gain access to the product

•        The layers forming the blister or strip pack cannot be separated or replaced without leaving visible evidence of entry

  • Individually wrapped medication: The product is enclosed in an individual pouch or sachet that must be ripped, peeled open or broken to gain access to the product.

•        The pouch or sachet must have a distinctive design

•        Seals of the pouch or sachet cannot be separated and resealed without showing visible evidence of entry.

The purpose of tamper-evident packaging is to alert consumers of possible safety concerns before they purchase or use goods. The FDA has recommended tamper-evident packaging as part of a multilayered system for preventing diversion and introduction of counterfeit drugs into the drug supply chain.

Tamper-evident packaging increases overall accountability in the chain of custody of the medications. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) guideline on preventing diversion of controlled substances (CSs) recommends tamper-evident packaging to ensure integrity and security of medications

Its use is of paramount importance in the pharmaceutical industry as medicines and prescriptions intended for patients should remain consistent and as indicated on the packaging. If the item has been tampered with, it could ultimately, seriously affect someone’s life. Tamper-evident packaging removes the concern as to whether the enclosed drugs are as intended, it enables the consumer to feel comfortable that what they are taking is as prescribed.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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