Tablets are pharmaceutical solid dosage forms containing drug substances. In addition to the active ingredients, tablets contain additional materials known as excipients such as diluents, binders, glidants and lubricants, that play a different role in tablet formulation. Tablets are commonly made by compression of granules or powder blends, but can be shaped by moulding.
Originally only manufactured in discoid in shape, but now also triangular, rectangular, round, oval, oblong or cylindrical forms have entered to market. Colours can vary to distinguish different medicines and tablets are often stamped with symbols, letters, and numbers which enable them to be identified.
Solid dosage form as tablets are commonly packed in blister packs. This type of packaging assures the integrity of each individual dose since each cavity is separate, so if one of their seals is breached, this doesn’t compromise the quality of the whole product. In pharmaceutical packaging, patient safety and quality take priority over appealing design, since it is directly linked to the patient’s health. The main aim of pharmaceutical packaging, like all others after all, is usually to protect products from any physical and biological damage and from external conditions that can alter the property of the product inside. Maintaining the quality of the drug and an extended shelf life play an important role as well.
When it comes to inform the buyer, medical packaging must provide correct information about product name, ingredients, use, dose just to mention a few. In this way, consumers are more aware of product origin or how they are made. To be able to access to all this information, product traceability need to be provided. The most commonly used standard to facilitate traceability on drug unit is serialization, in which a barcode need to be printed on different level of drug packaging (primary, secondary and tertiary). With the help of this printed symbol, is easier to track and trace the origin of a drug and to reduce the chance of counterfeit products.