Drug packaging is expected to be multi-purpose in today’s complex pharmaceutical supply chain with constantly increasing global challenges, including contamination, counterfeiting, and cost-effectiveness.

In Strain’s article, “Current Challenges in Pharmaceutical Packaging,” the fundamental functions of drug packaging consist of containment; compatibility; protection; information; identification; and convenience. Those charged with protecting against these threats are meeting them with innovation and quality assurance measures. While glass, metal, plastics and elastomers are the most common packaging materials, an initial challenge is in choosing a packaging system that is compatible with the product in order to minimize risks in safety and quality. Increasingly, however, the surge in drug counterfeiting requires anti-counterfeiting features to be incorporated in packaging, requiring packaging and design experts to cooperate in developing anti-counterfeiting techniques into their products.

This Pharmaceutical Engineering supplement features articles that discuss innovations, techniques and system descriptions aimed at improving products in terms of quality and reliability in pharmaceutical packaging, automation, and processing equipment.