Tina Robinson-Goodman, Technical Product Manager at Essentra Packaging, discusses the complexities of including ever-increasing content in health and well-being leaflets
The pandemic has rapidly changed the way the healthcare industry interacts and engages with patients and consumers. We are now living in a transformative era in which patients are empowered to manage their own health and well-being.
Within its long-term plan to reform the NHS, the UK government aims to personalise the delivery of care. According to the Royal College of Nursing, "self-care is integral to the government's approach to personalisation, enabling people to be at the heart of decision making about what matters to them."1
Improving the quality of information offered to patients is therefore critical to the implementation of person-centred care.
Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) provide an effective way for healthcare brands to communicate a broad range of product-related details to patients and caregivers. The leaflets are intended to support patient safety and complement the advice of medical professionals.
In many countries, the content is governed by law and typically includes product identification details, usage instructions and any associated regulatory information. The leaflet must present information in a clear, understandable and visually appealing way. This task is becoming increasingly difficult owing to the demand for additional features such as multilingual content, dual patient-carer formats and counterfeit technologies.
PILs are required to express both the benefits and risks of the medication contained within the packaging. This information must be conveyed in an accessible and comprehensive manner to improve patient outcomes. According to the EU's Directive on the Readability of Package Leaflet and Labelling of Medicinal Products, the design "facilitates navigation and access to information."
Large print formats and text translations are among the features used to achieve this goal. Anticounterfeit technologies must also be incorporated within the design of the leaflet to ensure the integrity of the product and brand. Packaging designers must now innovate to identify the most effective way to incorporate the information, as the directive simply concludes that manufacturers "should make the best of space."2
At Essentra Packaging, our designers have pioneered a completely unique leaflet that proactively meets these complexities. Piggyback enables multiple leaflets to be glued back-to-back and folded in an innovative way to accommodate large amounts of information without increasing the length or width of a standard leaflet.
Piggyback is available in twin and triple formats. The leaflets are printed separately and then glued together. This is advantageous to global brands seeking solutions to regulatory requirements in different countries. In the United States, for example, PILs must be available in two formats, one for the patient and one for the healthcare provider. The Piggyback design meets this requirement with ease.
With Piggyback, there is no enlargement in paper size. The design easily accommodates large print formats, multilingual versions and ever-growing regulatory information. Piggyback can include a number of anticounterfeit features too without compromising the amount of space available for patient-care content. As a result, it is a very appealing alternative to traditional leaflet designs.
Piggyback is also a highly sustainable option for healthcare manufacturers. By limiting the size of the paper and incorporating complex folds, the overall weight of the packaging is kept to a minimum. As the finished leaflet is recyclable, it allows users to manage their waste responsibly at home and in healthcare settings.
Essentra Packaging is a leading supplier of primary and secondary packaging for the healthcare, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. We operate globally as a value-added supply chain partner, committed to helping customers meet ever-changing industry requirements.
Our product line includes cartons, leaflets, labels and specialty tapes. Our in-house capabilities range from design and prototyping to manufacture and distribution. Using our highly responsive digital printing service and efficient packing lines, we support the rapid delivery of products to global markets.
Piggyback is one of our most recent innovations that addresses a number of industry-specific challenges. It enables brands to deliver a wealth of information to patients in a user-friendly format. Overall, its design supports healthcare professionals in their efforts to enhance user engagement and improve patient outcomes.