Ophthalmic packaging: if eye care comes in a tube

The world of packaging has a heart called “pharmaceutical packaging”; pharmaceutical packaging has a heart called “ophthalmic packaging”. This is not simply the paraphrase of a well-known advertisement, but a reality that (literally!) we touch with our hands every day.

Eye care, with the application of eye ointments or eye drops, is in fact the one that arouses the most reticence in patients, especially when it comes to self-medication: when the tip of the drug approaches the iris, even the steadiest hand tends to retract. Pharmaceutical companies are well aware of this, which is why they pay particular attention in the production of ophthalmic medicines, not only with regard to the formulation (which would be taken for granted) but also in the primary packaging, which is designed to facilitate use. 

Our company has long experience in this respect: our tube with ophthalmic nozzle has been used for years by major players in the pharmaceutical world. But who says that what is good cannot be further improved?

We therefore decided to innovate by looking at the two sides of the coin: on the one hand, the pharmaceutical company, and on the other hand, their direct customers, i.e. the end users who have to apply ophthalmic creams and ointments

New: the rigid ophthalmic nozzle even more reliable and safe 

Our classic ophthalmic nozzle has always been made of a blend of polyethylenes (Riblene® and Eraclene®) suitable for food use. In fact, the nozzle must not come into direct contact with the part to be medicated and this exempts it from being EuPh-compliant, i.e. the EU Pharma-specific regulation (compliance is, on the other hand, indispensable in cases where contact is expected, e.g. the nozzle of a nasal spray, which must be inserted into the nostrils before dispensing the medicine). 

However, it is almost inevitable that the nozzle will touch the periocular area (or even the eye itself, perhaps accidentally). We therefore decided to offer our customers the possibility of choosing a higher level of compliance by creating a rigid ophthalmic nozzle made entirely of Pharmalene®, a polyethylene specially designed for medical use and suitable for pharmacopoeia according to European regulations.

The ideal solution for companies seeking the highest level of reliability and safety for their products. And at no extra cost: thanks to the streamlining of manufacturing processes. The new rigid nozzle is at an advanced industrial stage: new molds have already been created, the necessary tests carried out, and the new nozzles have been sent to customer companies to carry out compatibility tests with their filling machines. The results were all very positive. The new 100% Pharmalene® rigid nozzle will therefore be available for order in late spring 2023. 

Ophthalmic tube with soft nozzle: ophthalmic packaging seen through the eyes of the patient

It may be made of the best material, meet the highest quality standards, and have passed every test, but the sight of a hard spout coming menacingly close to the eye paralyses anyone. It doesn’t matter what it says on the cardbox or the leaflet. The ideal pharmaceutical packaging doesn’t merely satisfy the strict criteria of industry regulators, but succeeds in interpreting the needs of the end user, facilitating the use and enjoyment of the medicine it contains. The patient who has to self-medicate his eye does not know about polyethylene compounds, he only knows that his eye hurts and that in order to heal it he must (alas) endure the unpleasant application of an ointment or cream. And how can he feel reassured by the sight of a hard plastic awl pointing at his eye? 

All too often, the pharmaceutical world underestimates these aspects, which are crucial for the end customer. And not only in self-medication, but also in cases where it is a care-giver who has to use them on a loved one: the correct application of the medicine can be marred by the ‘fear to harm’. Especially if there is an uncooperative person on the other side, such as a small child. Or a pet: even the most tame dog or cat will recoil when it sees an undefined foreign body approaching its eyes. This can lead to sudden movements and jerks that increase the chances of unintentionally producing an injury or trauma. 

This is why we created the soft-tipped ophthalmic tube: the same quality and pharmaceutical safety as the rigid nozzle but with a ‘gentle’ touch.  The tip, made of a thermoplastic elastomer, bends docilely on contact with the skin, minimizing the risk of unintentional injury. In addition, it can be customized in different colors for easier product recognition, a very useful quality in cases where treatment with different drugs is required. The thin, flexible tip makes it possible to push safely into even the most delicate folds of the eye and gives greater awareness during application. 

A pharmaceutical packaging solution in which we deeply believe and which was awarded the prestigious Packaging Oscar in 2015. 

The functional aspects of packaging are destined to gain increasing importance in the pharmaceutical sector, particularly with regard to ophthalmic pharmaceutical packaging (but the principle is also valid, in general, for all single-dose pharmaceutical packaging). The soft nozzle can boast the same levels of quality and reliability in use as the rigid nozzle, but offer the public a higher level of functionality, which transforms the tube from a simple container into a real medication tool

Would you like to know more about its advantages? Contact us: we will be happy to send you a sample and explain all the advantages. 

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