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MeadWestvaco Expands Pharmaceutical Packaging Solutions

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

RICHMOND, Virginia MeadWestvaco Corporation today announced two new products that further the company's adherence-promoting packaging solutions for the healthcare industry: Shellpak 170 and Dosepak Express. Both packages are designed to support patient adherence to medication regimens, and provide commercial and supply chain efficiencies for pharmaceutical companies. Dosepak Express launched in early 2009 and Shellpak launched this month. Both solutions are offered in the U.S. marketplace, and are potentially available for clinical and commercial applications globally.

The new Shellpak 170 is an extension of MWV's Shellpak packaging platform which features a thin, durable outer plastic shell to protect tablets along with a calendarized blister card. Shellpak 170 is designed to hold larger tablets and support twice daily (bid) dosing regimens, giving pharmaceutical companies and retailers greater flexibility in adherence packaging options for generic and branded drugs.

MWV also extended its Dosepak platform with Dosepak Express, which combines the adherence benefits of Dosepak providing educational, communication and branding options along with the enhanced manufacturing benefits of Shellpak. Dosepak Express features an outer protective paperboard carton, blister pack and leaflet or insert into one integrated pack. Informational leaflets for a drug can be inserted into the top flap of the package before it reaches the manufacturer, removing an extra step in the supply chain. Dosepak Express meets the consumer needs for portability and discretion because of its compact size and non-medicinal look. Consumer research indicates the package is extremely or very easy to use while dispensing pills.

"Health care is a top agenda item in the United States, both from a public health and cost perspective," said Dr. Ted Lithgow, president, MWV Healthcare. "According to the World Health Organization, 'the consequences of poor adherence to long-term therapies are poor health outcomes and increased health costs.' In addition, non-adherence to a medication regimen can result in additional sick or lost work days," added Lithgow.

"This is where MWV is making a difference. By promoting patient adherence through effective, easy-touse and efficiently manufactured packaging, we are supporting health care that is accessible and affordable," said Lithgow.

Patient adherence requires the patient to follow a physician's prescribed regimen, and MWV skillfully designs its packaging to accomplish patient compliance in several ways:

• On the inside, the drugs are pre-filled and can be calendarized on the blister which helps to remind patients to take their medication correctly and on time and also helps patients better manage refills.

• Pre-filled prescriptions mean a pharmacist is able to spend more time consulting patients as opposed to counting pills.

• The flat surface allows for critical drug information, brand identification and patient education to be printed on the pack, making it easy to read and access.

From a production and retail perspective, both products are designed to easily run on standard cartoning equipment, creating efficient, speedy and economical processing on production lines. Pre-filled and ready to dispense packaging eliminates the need for pharmacists to repackage medication into pharmacy vials, reducing errors and operating costs, and allowing pharmacists to spend less time counting pills and more time consulting patients. Shellpak 170 received a 98 percent rating on senior opening protocol tests and the highest child resistance rating on U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tests.




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