How Blister Packaging Methods Compare Versus Other Techniques of Packaging

Pharmaceutical supply chain

Carded blister packaging are those hard to open cases that encompass medical supplies, batteries, etc. It is a great method for creating strong packages that are tamper proof. It’s a very similar method to the vial pharmaceutical packaging method. The idea is that they cannot be opened without it being very obvious while still allowing the product to be in full view for the consumer to examine. The packaging itself is attached to a card and heat sealed to close. However, as with every method, there are pros and cons. Let’s look at a few of those.


  1. See through –the packaging is able to seen through, as mentioned above so whether the consumer is looking at vial pharmaceutical packaging or some other type of product, they will be able to see the actual product they are considering buying.

  2. Durable – it is made with an extremely strong and capable material that still has the balance of being flexible and bendable when needed.

  3. Longer shelf life – when medicine or drugs or vial pharmaceutical packaging are packed in this type of blister packaging, it extends their expiration dates due to the air tight features.

  4. Lower contamination possibilities – especially when capsules are packed, there is almost no chance of them becoming contaminated because they are each packed in a separate compartment.

  5. Easier to understand – there is room on the packaging to properly explain to consumers to use the products. In the case of medication, days of the week can be printed on the aluminum sheet in the packaging so that it makes it easier to keep track of when the medication has been taken and when it has not.

  6. Child resistant – the blister packaging makes it hard to children to open by themselves but adults are still able to figure out how to cut it open.


  1. More time – aluminum is typically what is used inside the package so this takes up a lot more time than if plastic was the only material being used.

  2. More cost – it is more expensive to make these types of packages because it requires special equipment in order to do the job properly.

  3. Child resistant – while this is an advantage, it’s also a disadvantage. This is because, if a child just try to open the package, they could severely cut themselves on the edges of the hard PVC cover.

While the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages, they still need to be taken into consideration. It’s common knowledge that good things take time and money but if you do not have that time and money then it may not be a possibility for you to use blister packaging for vial pharmaceutical packaging or whatever else you need to be sending out. Here are a couple of alternatives to blister packaging if you cannot afford it or for some reason want to try a different method.

Stretch packaging films – these can be used instead of blister packaging because they are similar to flexible medical packaging or the shrink labels that are fitted to bottles and other products. It is still a very strong and durable material with many of the same advantages as blister packaging designs. However, it is a little more difficult to remove as it shrinks to conform tightly to any product. It can be hard to get underneath to cut off which poses some hazard to consumers.

Bottles – this is the traditional method of packaging, before blisters came about. About 25% of medicines are still packed in bottles. While they are cheaper and less time consuming, bottles are easily broken and it’s hard for patients to keep track of how many pills have been taken which can be dangerous, especially to the older generations of patients.

There are a few other methods that can be used in order to package products but they all fall short when it comes to being tamper proof in comparison to the blister packaging. Even those blister packaging is more expensive and time consuming than other methods, the peace of mind that comes with being tamper proof, especially when transporting medication and prescription drugs is definitely worth it.

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