MeepWestvaco's Cerepak

Cerepak (tm) smart blister packaging was introduced to the market in the spring of 2004 by MeadWestvaco Healthcare Packaging's health product packaging company. The technology used is similar to that of competitors' electronic blister packs, but it needs to go further. It combines a reusable electronic survey with the ability to capture patient quality of life (QOL) information. "That's very unusual," Grinnan commented. "Usually, you can collect this information only when your doctor visits. Being able to get this data in real life is very appealing to clinical medicine."

MeadWestvaco’s Cerepak is the result of an agreement with Cyakk AB, a Swedish technology development company, which designed the concept of Intelligent Pharmaceutical Packaging (IPP) and MeadWestvaco's standard drug fever. Blister packs, such as its CR Dosepak, and eadWestvaco signed a concession agreement with Cypak in early 2004, which gave MeadWestvaco exclusive production and sales of smart drugs in the United States. The right to package (IPP), as well as non-exclusive rights in other countries in the world.

The Cerepak solution consists of four components: a data acquisition device or package, a reader, software, and analysis tools to generate reports. Among these components, Cypak's technology is used on electronic modules or chips, it is embedded in a blister package in the same way that conductive ink is used for packaging, and its interface allows information to be uploaded from the package to a computer.

Cerepak blister packs are produced at MeadWestvaco's North Carolina, USA plant where the heat seal plates are printed with conductive traces or patterns and the electronic chips are affixed to the package board. “Ink printed patterns will introduce detailed information.” Grinnan said, “There is a very precise description of the width and density of the ink line and the method of heat sealing the packaging plate. The heat sealing method of the packaging plate keeps the ink from being frayed. Or dissipate and even affect the electrical conductivity of the package. The ink itself is not the answer to this technology. More critical is the design and printing of the conductive traces, and the successful sealing of the chip into the cardboard."

Cerepak's electronic chip provides a firewall and memory. The ink line is connected to the chip to store its 32 input data. Each input represents an empty blister - or a pill or a dose of medicine. The chip also has a speaker that can be designed to activate a light emitting diode and give patients medication reminders. Other options include: monitoring temperature at a given time, measuring vibrations and tremors—"This is entirely a question of cost and expectations," Grinnan commented.

The Quality of Life Questionnaire (QOL) on the blister board is unique to Cerepak. It is programmed by the firmware in the chip. These include the protruding buttons on the blister board. When the button is squeezed, it will The conductivity change of the conductive ink printed on the chip is recorded on the chip. The way the questionnaire function works depends entirely on customer preferences. For example, an area may be deactivated at a time other than a specific period of time based on the time the pill was removed. "The main method we propose is to activate the pad immediately after the patient takes out a pill," Grinnan said. "What we want to measure is how the patient feels at the time. It's likely that it's more likely to measure the effect of the medication they were taking before, not the effect of the one pill they had just taken thirty seconds or a minute ago."

The problem may be related to possible side effects, patient's pain level, etc. Each answer represents an input result. MeadWestvaco said that while the chip currently enables Cerepak to provide 32 valid inputs, the company hopes to be able to supply chips that support up to 100 inputs in the future.

Like other medication reminders, Cerepak uses a mouse pad reader. The reader is connected to a computer with a Windows operating system via a USB port. The contactless reader was manufactured in Europe by Cyak Corporation under the contract between the two parties and uploaded the information to AARDEX's PanelView software or a password-contained website. Grinnan thinks the former website is very suitable for clinical trial work, and the latter one is suitable for academic research.

Finally, Cerepak provided customers with a data analysis tool in the form of a complete solution for processing data edited by AARDEX. "Using this technology, in many cases, it is the data that is important, not the packaging itself," Grinnan said. "If the data can't be used effectively, this field won't use this technology, no matter how charming or interesting it is. The data should attract attention. It is also more effective to make trials less costly and make medicine development more medically sound."

Although MeadWestvaco entered into a confidentiality agreement with all customers who use its Cerepak packaging, Grinnan confirmed that the test of this packaging is being conducted in both Europe and the United States. "This package provides a huge amount of data that was previously impossible to obtain at all," he added. "People have a much bigger interest in reducing the responsibility for packaging than we foresee. I think pharmaceutical companies see it as A more subtle method than they used to design drugs."

Although the Cerepak blister pack is primarily marketed as an application for clinical trials, it can also be viewed as an effective commercial application tool. These applications include the recovery of chronic conditions and asymptomatic health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Grinnan said that Cerepak packaging should be used for commercial applications by mid-2006.

Source: Packaging Digest China


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