Research database

This Research Database has been developed by HCPC Europe to create an overview of the available research in the field of patient-friendly and adherence packaging. The database is for all members of HCPC Europe. Members can register as a user to get access to the database. Is your organisation not a member yet? Then please register your organisation as a member or contact our Executive Director Ger Standhardt for more information.

The use of a universal design methodology for developing child-resistant drug packaging

People with disabilities and older adults are significant consumers of prescription drugs. However, most testing protocols for child resistant (CR) packaging do not take these individuals into account. One example is the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) protocol that excludes people with any obvious disability from the “senior-friendly” test. Instead of forcing manufacturers to develop CR packages that people with difficulties can use, the government permits pharmacies to dispense drugs in non-CR packages upon request, and allows the manufacturers of over-the-counter medications to package one size in non-CR packages. This assumes that people with disabilities do not live with children, and thus limits their choices. For this research, a user-centered methodology that follows the universal design principles, guidelines, and methods was crafted. Universal design is an approach that addresses the needs of the widest possible audience; by applying its principles to CR packaging, users with a wider range of abilities can be accommodated. Three working groups were at the core of this process: people with disabilities, older adults, and children. Four distinct areas (hand strength, hand-finger dexterity, hand anthropometrics, and cognitive abilities) have been identified that can be employed to defeat children while allowing adults easy entry to packages. This information has the potential to guide designers not only in design choices, but also in dimensional and force related decisions regarding CR package design.