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Publication numberUS3497982 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 3, 1970
Filing dateNov 22, 1968
Priority dateNov 22, 1968
Also published asDE6930390U
Publication numberUS 3497982 A, US 3497982A, US-A-3497982, US3497982 A, US3497982A
InventorsPaul Henry Schulz
Original AssigneeCiba Geigy Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Package and method for dispensing of pharmaceutical preparations
US 3497982 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 3, 1970 P. H. SCHULZ 3,497,932

PACKAGE AND METHOD FOR DISPENSING 0F PfiARHACEUTICAI-l PREPARATIONS Filed Nov. 22. 1968 I6 20 l8 1 CAPSULE MADE BY TRAD NAM DRUG co. E

ROOM BED ADDRESS DAT-- CODEfiBq 1 E LDT'"'E a s a INVENTOR. 6 Paul H. Schulz ATTORNEY.

United States Patent 3,497,982 PACKAGE AND METHOD FOR DISPENSING OF PHARMACEUTICAL PREPARATIONS Paul Henry Schulz, Scotch Plains, N.J., assignor to Ciba Corporation, Summit, N.J., a corporation of Delaware Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 573,515, Aug. 19, 1966. This application Nov. 22, 1968, Ser. No. 778,289

Int. Cl. G09f 3/02; B65d 5/38 US. Cl. 40-312 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A novel package is provided for dispensing of pharmaceuticals which is comprised of a sleeve and a sealed container for the pharmaceuticals. The sleeve has an upper panel which is adapted to receive the identification of the intended recipient, and the remaining panels, which comprise the sleeve, have the identification of the packaged pharmaceutical printed thereon. The container is releasably secured inside the protective sleeve to the upper panel. In dispensing the pharmaceuticals, the identification of the intended recipient is written on the upper panel, the accuracy of the dispensing is rechecked and the drug identification removed before administering the pharmaceutical to the intended recipient,

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-impart of copending application Ser. No. 573,515, filed Aug. 19, 1966, and now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to a novel package for pharmaceuticals and to an improved method of dispensing pharmaceutical preparations.

Description of the prior art Pharmaceutical preparations are generally supplied to hospitals in containers which contain a relatively large number of units. For example, pharmaceuticals in the form of tablets or capsules are generally supplied in bottles containing from 50 to 500 units. This method of packaging pharmaceuticals has several serious disadvantages. Once the seal of the container is broken, the contents are readily contaminated by exposure or handling. In addition, certain pharmaceuticals, once exposed to the air, deteriorate rather rapidly. There is a further problem of inventory control since it is difficult to accurately determine the exact number of units remaining in an open container without actually counting each unit. The use of unsealed containers also increases the danger of petty pilferage from open containers since the theft is often difficult to detect. Some pharmaceuticals are separately packaged in individual envelopes or in strips. This method substantially reduces the contamination problem but does not overcome all of the problems encountered in dispensing pharmaceuticals.

One of the more serious problems encountered in the modern practice of medicine, especially in hospitals, is the problem of controlling mistakes made in filling and administering prescription drugs. An error made in dispensing pharmaceuticals can result in serious injury to a patient if he receives an incorrect amount or the wrong type of pharmaceutical. A drug prescribed to save the life of one person can readily have the opposite effect on a patient with a different condition. It should also be appreciated that even a relatively minor error in the Patented Mar. 3, 1970 hoe time at which the pharmaceutical is administered can also have an adverse effect on the recovery rate of the patient.

The medication dispensing practice followed in most hospitals consists of removing a single dose of the pharmaceutical from a bulk container and putting it into a small paper cup and then placing a card near the cup with the name of the patient for whom the pharmaceutical is intended. Most pharmaceutical preparations once removed from a labeled container lose their identity, especially if they are of a white color. Accordingly, the accuracy of the dispensing step cannot readily be double checked immediately before administering the drug to the patient. The inability to readily check the accuracy of the prescription is especially acute when drugs are supplied in bulk packages. The use of the individual envelopes described above did not solve the dispensing problem. Certain of the envelopes were unlabeled and likewise lost their identification once separated from the main container. Even when the sealed envelopes were individually labeled, they could not be dispensed in the sealed envelopes since good medical practice requires that at least certain types of patients not be made aware of the exact type of drug being administered. Accordingly, the sealed envelopes had to be opened and the otherwise unlabeled and unprotected pharmaceuticals in the envelopes removed and dispensed in the usual manner. Furthermore, even using the sealed unit heretofore suggested, it was not possible to indicate on the unit the identity of the intended recipient.

A well-known problem encountered by hospitals in general is the shortage of trained medical personnel, such as nurses and pharmacists. One solution to this problem would be to minimize routine clerical duties so that the trained personnel could concentrate on the professional aspects of their position. As was noted above, the pharmacist or nurse dispensing the pharmaceutical must indicate on the drug card the name of the intended recipient. In addition, other records must likewise be marked with the recipients name, drug name, dose, date and time of administration, and other similar information. The entering of this information is quite time-consuming since it must usually be entered on several different records. Furthermore, the necessity of writing the information results in errors in transcribing the information and mistakes in reading the information at a later date. If the entering of data were mechanized, it would both reduce the time required and increase the accuracy of the records.

One of the objects of the present invention is to overcome the aforementioned problems and disadvantages.

An additional object of this invention is to provide a pharmaceutical package which will substantially reduce the errors in administering drugs.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide a contamination-resistant package for a pharmaceutical preparation including a means to identify the intended recipient of said preparation and having removable drug identification.

A still further object of this invention is to reduce the time required to perform routine administrative functions in hospitals.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will further become apparent hereinafter from a reading of the specification, drawings and the claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The pharmaceutical package of this invention is comprised of a sealed container which contains the pharma ceutical preparation and a protective outer sleeve. The sleeve has an upper panel which is adapted to receive the identification of the intended recipient. The remainder of the panels which comprise the sleeve have printed thereon the identification of the content of the package and other related data. The sealed container is releasably secured to the upper panel. Advantageously, the package is adapted so that when the identification of the intended recipient is written on the upper panel it is simultaneously duplicated on the lid of the sealed container.

In administering pharmaceuticals, the name of the intended recipient is written on the upper panel. The accuracy is thereafter rechecked by comparing the name of the receipient and drug identification on the package with the doctors prescription. Immediately before administering the accuracy of the prescription is advantageously again rechecked and the protective sleeve is removed without breaking the seal of the container. The package is then opened and the pharmaceutical administered. The sleeve is advantageously retained since it provides a complete record. The sleeve can be adapted to be read by data processing apparatus, thereby reducing routine clerical duties of trained personnel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an illustration of the sleeve of the package of the present invention shown in a flat, unassembled form.

FIG. 2 is an isomeric illustration of the sealed container employed in the pharmaceutical package of this invention.

FIG. 3 is an isomeric illustration of the preferred pharmaceutical package of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an isomeric illustration of an alternate em bodiment of the pharmaceutical package of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an isomeric illustration of the sealed container obtained by removing the drug identification portion of the sleeve from the package illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of the drug identification portion of the sleeve of the package illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is an isomeric illustration of a typical magazine suitable for holding the pharmaceutical package of this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In describing the preferred embodiments of the invention illustrated in the drawing, specific terminology will be resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, the scope of this invention is not intended to be limited to the specific terms so selected and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.

Turning now to the preferred embodiments of this invention selected for illustration in the drawing, the number 10 generally denotes the pharmaceutical package of this invention. The package 10 is comprised of a sleeve 12 and a sealed container 14. The sleeve 12 is preferably made of a light-weight material such as a thin grade of cardboard. The sleeve 12 is comprised of an upper panel 16, a base panel 18, two side panels 20, 22, and a locking tab 24. The upper panel is adapted to receive the identification of the intended recipient and other information concerning the administration of the pharmaceutical. As illustrated, the upper panel 16 has a form printed thereon for the name of the intended recipient, his room and bed, and the date and time to administer the pharmaceutical. The form could, of course, be modified to include additional information such as the name of the attending physician, and so forth.

The remainder of the sleeve 12 has printed thereon the necessary data concerning the packaged pharmaceutical. The content of the package, the trade name and strength of the pharmaceutical are printed on the base panel 18. In addition to the above-noted data one the base panel 18, numbers are printed which are readable by conventional data processing equipment. The code number refers to the inventory control number selected to describe the item being dispensed. The lot number refers to the manufacturers lot number and is useful for inventory control purposes. One of the side panels has printed thereon the name and address of the drug manufacturer or, if appropriate, the repackager of the pharmaceutical. The remaining side panel 22 has printed thereon a simplified identification of the content which is readable when the package 10 is placed in a magazine 50. It should be appreciated that the location of the drug information on the base panel 18 and the side panels 20, 22 can be varied with regard to the information shown and the position on the base and side panels 18, 20, 22 without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The locking tab 24 has the upper left-hand corner cut at an angle. The purpose of this cut corner is to act as an index to permit a number of the sleeve in the unassembled form to be properly aligned so that the code number on the base panel 18 will be in the proper position to be read by data processing equipment.

The sleeve 12 is assembled by folding the panels 16, 18, 20 and 22 into a general rectangularly shaped sleeve and securing the locking tab 24 to one of the panels 22 with a releasable adhesive. It should be noted, however, that the shape of the sleeve 12 is not limited to a rectangular configuration and can be formed in other shapes, with, for example, trapezoidal configuration being quite satisfactory for most purposes.

The sealed container 14 is made of a tray 26 and a lid 28. The tray 26 may be made of a variety of materials depending on the chemical nature of the drug to be packaged. Certain pharmaceuticals readily react with certain common packaging materials. Accordingly, care must be taken in selecting the material. A material which has been found to be chemically resistant to most drugs and which also has excellent hermetic sealing properties is polyvinylidene chloride coated aluminum foil. Other materials which have also been found to be useful for this application are plain aluminum foil, epoxy coated aluminum foil and {ilms of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and viny The tray 26 has a bottom wall, side walls, and an open top. The tray 26 may be formed in any suitable geometrical shape. The size and shape of the tray 26 is to a large extent determined by the size and physical form of the material to be packaged. For example, elongated capsules are preferably packaged in flat-bottomed rectangular pans, while salves are preferably packaged in round-bottom pans to facilitate complete removal.

The lid 28 is advantageously formed of a laminate which has an inside surface which is compatible with the packaged pharmaceutical and an outer exposed surface which will readily receive patient identifying indicia. Materials such as foil-backed or plastic-lined cardboard laminates are especially well suited for this purpose.

The pharmaceutical preparation is inserted into the tray 26 and the lid 28 is sealed over the open top of the tray 26. This can be accomplished by heat sealing the tray 26 to the lid 28 with a thermoplastic adhesive or by crimping the edge of the tray 26 about the edges of the lid 28 or with any of the other well-known sealing techniques. The sealed container 14 advantageously is hermetically sealed in order to provide maximum protection from contamination.

The lid 28 has printed on the outer surface a form identical to the form printed on the upper panel 16 of the sleeve 12. In addition, there are two strip coatings of adhesive 30 on the edge of the lid 28. The lid 28, or the upper panel 16, or both, have pressure sensitive duplicating means incorporated therewith. The means can simply be a carbon coating on the inner surface of the upper panel 16, or more preferably, chemically incorporated in the laminates, which are pressure sensitive and will change color when pressed together. Since this duplicating technique and other suitable duplicating means are well-known to those skilled in the art, additional comments are not deemed necessary on this point.

The sealed container 14 is secured by means of the releasable adhesive strip 30 to the inner surface of the upper panel 16 and positioned so that the corresponding forms on both the upper panel 16 and the lid 28 are aligned with each other. Other means of securing the sealed container 14 to the sleeve 12 can be employed in place of the adhesive strips, such as simply forcefitting the sealed container in the sleeve. The upper panel 16, the base panel 18 and the side panels 20, 22 in combination with the locking tab 24 form a protective sleeve 12 about the sealed container 14 to provide the package of this invention.

In the method of dispensing pharmaceuticals according to this invention, the persons dispensing the pharmaceuticals initially determine what pharmaceutical preparation has been ordered by the doctor. The pharmaceutical which has been pre-packaged in the package 10 described above is obtained from stock. The intended recipients name is Written on the upper panel 16 of the package 10 in addition to his room number, bed and date and time when the pharmaceutical is to be administered. The pressure sensitive duplicating means associated with the upper panel 16 and the lid 28 simultaneously duplicates the same information on the form provided on the lid 28 of the sealed container 14.

The accuracy of the dispensing step can be checked by simply comparing the name of the intended recipient and the identification of the pharmaceutical on the sleeve 12 against the prescription given by the doctor.

The package 10, having been rechecked, is now ready to be administered. The locking tab 24 is raised, breaking the seal between the locking panel and the adjacent side panel 22. The sealed container 14 is removed from the sleeve 12 by forcing the adhesive strip 30 to release. The sealed container has all the information concerning the intended recipient duplicated on the lid 28, but the identification of the pharmaceutical is removed. The sealed container is opened immediately before administering the pharmaceutical and the patient is given the prescribed pharmaceutical with the minimum danger of contamination.

The disassembled sleeve 12 is advantageously retained for record keeping purposes in that it contains all the required information to properly complete the necessary records. The sleeve can simply be attached to the patients record to provide a sufficient record. Preferably, however, the entries on the hospital records are made with data processing equipment similar to that commonly used by commercial banks for processing of checks. The sleeves 12 from the dispensed packages are collected and aligned in proper position by use of the indexing corner on the locking tab 24. The magnetic numbers on the base panel 18 are then readable by the data processing equipment. The operator reads the information written on the upper panel and translates it in indicia readable by the data processing equipment, which then marks the appropriate records. In this manner the accounting record, medical recording and inventory are simultaneously adjusted by the data processing machine with a minimum utilization of professional time, since only the initial form on the upper panel need be filled out by the professionally-trained personnel.

The number 32 generally denotes an alternate embodiment of the pharmaceutical package of the present invention. The package 32 is similar to the package illustrated in FIG. 3 with the exception that the tray 34 of the package 32 is sealed directly to the upper panel 36. The upper panel serves both the function of the upper panel 16 and the .lid 28 of the package 10 previously described. A line of perforations 38 is provided along one of the edges of the package 32. The upper panel 36, the base panel 42 and the side panels 40, 44 have the same information printed thereon as indicated above for the panels comprising the sleeve 12 of the package illustrated in FIG. 3. The upper panel 36 is adapted to receive the identification of the intended recipient and the remainder of the panels 40, 42, 44 receive the information concerning the packaged pharmaceutical.

The package 32 is utilized as in the following manner. The identification of the intended recipient is written on the upper panel 36. The accuracy of the dispensing step is rechecked as described above. The locking tab is disengaged from the adjacent panel and then the package 32 is separated along the line of perforations 38. After separation, there is obtained the sealed unit 46 containing the pharmaceutical and having the intended recipients name thereon and the drug identification stub 48. The sealed unit is opened and the packaged pharmaceutical is administered to the intended recipient. The drug identification stub 48 is advantageously secured to the patients record. This package is less expensive to manufacture than the preferred embodiment 10, but has the disadvantage that the recipients identification and the pharmaceutical identification are separated from each other during administration, which limits somewhat the utility of the drug identification stub 48.

The package 32 can be modified, however, by elimiinating the line of perforations 38. Using this type of package, the tray 34 is disengaged from the upper panel, the pharmaceutical is removed from the tray and the patient identification and drug identification remain together. This type of package has the advantage of the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, that is, a complete record is obtained, but has the disadvantage that the pharmaceutical must be delivered to the recipient with the identification on the package, or if the identification is removed, the seal of the container must be broken.

The pharmaceutical packages of this invention are advantageously packaged in a magazine 50. This facilitates dispensing of the packages and assists in controlling the inventory.

It is to be understood that the forms of the invention herewith shown and described are to be taken as preferred embodiments. Various changes may be made in the shape, size and arrangement of parts. For example, equivalent elements may be substituted for those illustrated and described herein, parts may be reversed, and certain features of the invention may be utilized independently of the use of other features, all without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as defined in the subjoined claims.

I claim:

'1. A packa; for pharmaceuticals comprising in combination: a sleeve, a tray, a lid, and pressure sensitive duplication means; said sleeve being comprised of an upper panel, a base panel, two side panels and a locking tab, said upper panel having an inner and outer surface, the

outer surface of the upper panel being adapted to receive indicia identifying the intended recipient of said pharmaceutical at a predetermined location on the upper panel, said base panel and side panels having defined thereon the identification of said pharmaceutical, said locking tab overlapping and being releasably secured to one of said panels; said tray being comprised of a bottom wall, side Walls and an open top and being of a configuration sufficient to receive said pharmaceutical; said lid having an inner and outer surface, said inner surface of said lid being secured to the open top of said tray, said lid and tray in combination forming a sealed container for said pharmaceutical, said outer surface of the lid being adapted to receive indicia identifying said intended recipient at a location on said outer surface of said lid corresponding to said predetermined location on the upper panel, said sealed conttainer being releasably secured within said sleeve to the inner surface of said upper panel, with said upper panel and said lid being aligned with each other and having associated therewith said pressure sensitive duplicating means, whereby when indicia identifying the intended recipient is written on said upper panel at said predetermined location it is simultaneously duplicated in the corresponding location on said outer surface of said lid, whereby a package is obtained which can be separated into two separate parts, the first part being a sealed container holding said pharmaceutical and having the identification of the intended recipient written thereon, but no identification of the packaged pharmaceutical, and the second part being a record which includes both the identification of the intended recipient and the identification of the drug that is administered.

2. The package according to claim 1 wherein the identification of said pharmaceutical includes indicia readable by data processing apparatus.

3. The method for dispensing of a pharmaceutical comprising the steps of: packaging said pharmaceutical in the package according to claim 1, applying the intended recipients identification to the upper panel of said sleeve, thereby simuleaneously duplicating said indicia on the outer surface of said lid, removing the sealed container from said sleeve, opening said container and administering said pharmaceutical to said intended recipient.

4. The method of dispensing according to claim 3 wherein said sleeve after separation from the sealed container is retained as a record of said dispensing.

5. The method for dispensing of a pharmaceutical comprising the steps of packaging the pharmaceutical in a package comprised of a sealed container containing said pharmaceutical which is adapted to receive indicia identifying the intended recipient and a removable portion having the identification of the pharmaceutical said container having a sealed portion; applying said indicia to said sealed portion; thereafter removing the removable portion, opening the sealed portion and administering the pharmaceutical to the intended recipient.

6. The method according to claim 5 wherein said removable portion is secured to said recipients records.

7. The method according to claim 5 wherein said removable portion includes indicia readable by data processing equipment and wherein dispensing records are marked by employing said removable portion with said data processing equipment.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,790,587 4/1957 Contant 206-42 X 3,281,051 10/1966 OBrien etal.

: 3,305,077 2/1967 Greif et a1. 206-42 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner W. H. GRIEB, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 20642; 229-51

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Classifications
U.S. Classification40/312, 206/459.5, 283/81, 283/900, 206/534
International ClassificationB65D25/36, B65D77/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D25/36, Y10S283/90, B65D77/0433
European ClassificationB65D25/36, B65D77/04C3