Unit-Of-Use And Unit Dose Packaging: Keeping Them Straight

There are several types of packaging utilized in pharmacies across the US. Bulk packaging is easy to understand and keep straight from other types. However, two different types are often confused. These are unit-of-use and unit dose packaging.

What Is Unit-of-Use Packaging?

Unit-of-use packaging refers to a specific type of medical packaging. It is a specific amount of medication confined securely in containers of diverse types. What specifically differentiates the packaging is its intent to be given directly to the patient without any modification of the contents. The only thing the pharmacist or medical professional needs to add is a prescription label.

Packaging companies prepare unit-of-use packaging in different formats. They may contain up to 31-days of prescription medication. Packaging is available in:

 * Blister packs
 * Compliance packs
 * Course-of-therapy packs
 * Vials

What Is Unit Dose Packaging?

In contrast with unit-of-use is unit dose packaging. This format is a single unit, pre-measured package. Easily dispensed, it usually consists of a medication supply that is essential for 24-hours maximum. Only a few pharmaceutical drug companies in the United States utilize this drug delivery system. The identified market is a hospital or other medical facility, not a pharmacy. The packaging of this type includes:

 * Blister packs
 * Pre-filled cartridges
 * Pre-filled syringes
 * Vials

The intent of this form of packaging is to reduce the risk of errors in medication dosage and type. This is what makes them ideal for hospital and hospital-like settings.

The Main Difference between Unit-of-Use and Unit Dose Packaging

In pharmaceutical packaging, companies can produce any of several types of containers for the products. They may prefer to handle only bulk packaging. They may also decide to produce unit-of-use packaging with its multiple does. Less commonly, packaging companies may elect to manufacture not only unit-of-use but also unit dose packaging. While the market for the latter’s single dose for immediate use is restricted, it is still a field that has a respectable market demand.

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