The world of pharma packaging is changing day by day, thanks to the upgraded packing machines and the development of more robust, innovative packaging material. Nevertheless, there are packaging forms that are still in full demand and have proved to be irreplaceable over time because of their reliable performance. Blister packing is undoubtedly one of them. Pharma manufacturers have been using blister packs for many years for packaging of tablets, capsules, and other solid oral dosage forms, and it remains a popular pharma packaging.
One of the biggest reasons why blister packing is preferred by the pharmaceutical industry is its unique design. Blister packs offer individual unit dose compartments along with tamper-evident features, which maintains product integrity throughout the supply chain until it reaches the patient. Blister packs are easy to use and therefore show high patient compliance. The use of relatively inexpensive packaging films and foils and the lightweight of blisters enabling easy transport with more storage capacity make blister packing a cost-effective packaging option.
Although any solid dosages can be packed in blisters, it is the oxygens-sensitive and hygroscopic products that need more consideration. High-barrier thermoforms film and aluminum foil blisters can provide a certain degree of protection against unwanted moisture and oxygen ingress. However, this may not offer complete protection against headspace moisture, gases, and impurities, especially for moisture- and oxygen-sensitive formulations.
In such cases, nitrogen enhanced purging (NEP) is a viable method to increase the shelf-life of a product inside a blister pack. The NEP system is designed for easy-to-use, single-point purging of air from the blister cavities, replacing it with dry nitrogen. Presently, the blister packing machines are manufactured with an in-built NEP system that can be readily used as per the product requirements. However, for manufacturers who have old blister packing machines, achieving nitrogen purging becomes challenging. It calls for buying new equipment altogether, which is clearly an expensive option and may not always be feasible for the manufacturer. Alternatively, the manufacturer can go for a customized NEP unit that can be attached to the existing blister packing machine.
A customized NEP unit consists of a nitrogen cylinder/reservoir with gauges and a regulator attached to the nitrogen chamber. Depending on the requirements, the nitrogen pressure can be adjusted (0.1 - 4.5 bar), and the gas can be blown into the cavities to flush out air and replace it with the required amount of dry nitrogen. Thus, a customized NEP not only enhances the shelf-life of moisture- and oxygen-sensitive products but also eliminates the need for buying new blister packing equipment and providing a cost-effective way to pharma manufacturers.
ACG has been providing customized packaging solutions to its customers for many years, fulfilling its special packaging requirements. When our client wanted to pack an air-sensitive product into the blisters, ACG helped them by providing a NEP system on their existing packaging machine. Read our case study to find out how our client achieved blister packing of their product with the help of customized NEP.

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An Internet Writer