US 3362578 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 9, 1968 H. B. SPENCER TAMPER-PROOF STRIP TABLET DISPENSER 4 Filed Dec. 2l, 1966 III 'IO Ill/II INVENTQR HUNTER B. SPENCER BY "if l ZZZm/m/ ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,362,578 TAMPER-PROOF STRIP TABLET DISPENSER Hunter B. Spencer, Richmond, Va., assignor to A. H. Robins Company, Incorporated, Richmond, Va., a corporation of Virginia Filed Dec. 21, 1966, Ser. No. 603,695 4 Claims. (Cl. 221-25) This invention relates in general to a permanent, tamper-proof container for dispensing a package strip that has commodity-containing compartments spaced longitudinally thereof and is severable between said compartments. In particular, the present invention provides a dispenser for a package strip that is spirally rolled and arranged in the dispenser so that the strip can be pulled longitudinally through an opening in the dispenser and the compartments separated from the strip individually or in groups, as desired.
Commercially available containers for dispensing package strips are, in general, not completely satisfactory. Those which are available are usually made from nondurable materials as, for example, cardboard which is subject to exterior damage and being non-transparent prohibits visual checking on the amount of dispensable material remaining in the container. Generally speaking, their construction does not permit repeated use, as for example, the use of refills and is subject to damage by careless handling and liquid deterioration as, for example, liquid coming in contact with the container. Furthermore those which are available are not tamper-proof and the package strip can be readily substituted by another package strip containing a different commodity.
The present invention provides a permanent, transparent, tamper-proof dispenser useful for dispensing a package strip containing any type of commodity which can be dispensed in package strip form. In particular, it is useful for dispensing pharmaceutical products in the form of tablets, capsules, powders and other dispensable forms in commercial and institutional pharmacies. It is essential that medicaments and, in particular, narcotics, barbiturates and those which come within the jurisdiction of the drug abuse law be accurately dispensed and accounted for.
The novel transparent dispenser of the present invention provides a seal which is afiixed when the dispenser is filled initially with a package strip and when the dispenser is refilled with a new package strip, and which cannot be removed without destruction and removal of the seal or a portion thereof giving indication of tampering with the contents of the dispenser. Thus, an accurate account can be maintained on the amount of medicament charged to the dispenser and on the amount dispensed. The transparent construction of the dispenser provides a means for readily anticipating when the dispenser needs to be refilled. Another advantage of the novel dispenser of the present invention is the provision of a means within the body of the dispenser which prevents the package strip from falling back within the dispenser thereby assuring at all times uniform dispensing of the package strip.
- A primary object of the invention is to provide a novel container for dispensing a package strip which is made tamper-proof by provision of a non-replaceable seal. A further object is to provide a novel container for dispensing a package strip which is fabricated using a durable material so that the container is not subject to wear and may be readily refilled. A still further object is the provision of a novel container fabricated from a durable transparent material so that a visual check can be made of the contents at all times.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the appended claims and fol- 3,352,578 Patented Jan. 9, 1968 lowing description of the best mode of carrying out the invention, made in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the transparent tamper-proof dispenser for package strips showing the dispenser with a package strip in position for dispensing;
FIGURE 2 is a section view along line 22 of FIG- URE 1 in the direction of the arrows; and
FIGURE 3 is a side elevation in section taken along line 33 of FIGURE 2 in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now to the drawings, dispenser 10 in its preferred form is rectangular and comprises a bottom wall 12, a fixed side wall 14, a removable side wall 16, end Walls 18 and 21 and top wall 22, which has an opening 23. End wall 18 turns inwardly at 19 in the vicinity of top wall 22 to form an opening 24 through which the package strip is dispensed. Extended end wall 25 is in parallel arrangement with top wall 22 forming a guide means 27 and terminates within the body of the container at 26. A flexible tab 28 fixed to the other end Wall 21 extends therefrom and parallel to top wall 22 to form expandable passageway 32. Fixed side wall 14 has a threaded socket 34 attached internally and centrally in said fixed side wall of length equal to the inside width of dispenser 10. Removable side wall 16 has a countersunk aperture 35 which is aligned with threaded socket 34, screw 36 being inserted through said aperture into said socket thereby attaching removable side wall 16, and closing the dispenser. Removable side wall 16 has bosses 38 which correctly positions side wall 16 to the dispenser and prevents rotating movement of removable side wall 16.
The coiled package strip 40 is comprised of a top membrane 41 and a bottom membrane 42 sealed longitudinally along the edges 43 and transversely at 44 to form compartment 46. Threaded socket 34 acts as a core for coiled package strip 40, which is threaded through passageway 32 and opening 24. Passageway 32 is adjusted to be less than the thickness of the commodity in compartment 46 so that it is impossible for the package strip to fall back into the body of the dispenser. Package strip 40 is dispensed by inserting a finger through rectangular opening 23 in top wall 22 and pushing package strip 40 through opening 24. Individual compartments or a group of compartments may be removed by severing the package strip at scored line 45.
countersunk aperture 35 through which screw 34 passes is provided with a tamper-proof seal 48 which is attached after the dispenser is closed.
Various modifications and equivalents will be apparent to one skilled in the art and may be made in the compounds, compositions, and methods of the present invention Without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and it is therefore to be understood that the invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
1. A box-like container for dispensing a strip having a plurality of packaging compartments formed therein, said container comprising a top wall, a fixed side wall, a re movable side wall, two end walls and a bottom wall, an opening in one of said walls through which said package strip is dispensed, guide means located in said container adjacent said opening for guiding said strip therethrough, flexible stop means fixed in said container near said guide means and forming with the latter an expandable passageway through which said package strip is metered compartment by compartment, said passageway normally having a dimension less than the thickness of the compartments of said package strip, a socket attached to the inner surface of said fixed side wall, said removable side wall having an aperture therein aligned with said socket when said removable wall is in its normally attached position,
fastener means extending through said aligned aperture 4. A container as defined in claim 3 wherein said seal and into securing engagement with said socket for securis wax. ing said removable side wall, and seal means enclosing at References Cited least a portion of said fastener means to prevent removal UNITED STATES PATENTS of the latter without breaking said seal means. 5
2. A container as defined in claim 1 wherein said fas- 3127054 3/1964 221-45 tener means is a screw extending through the aligned aper- 3318443 5/1967 Hllhs 2O6 52 ture in said removable side wall. FOREIGN PATENTS 3. A container as defined in claim 2 wherein said 175,993 7/1961 Sweden aligned aperture has a surrounding countersunk groove 10 in which said seal means resides. MARTHA L. RICE, Primary Examiner.