US 3737029 A
A pharmacal package wherein a pair of blister sheets are closed by respective backing sheets, the backing sheets being hingedly connected together and the blister sheets being held in adjacent relation.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent Serrell et al.
PHARMACAL PACKAGE CONSTRUCTION Inventors: John J. Serrell, Haverford; George C. Sparks, Harleysville; Howard M. v
Trowern, Jr., Willistown, all of Pa.
Assignee: Parke, Davis 8: Company, Detroit,
Filed: Aug. 9, 1971 Appl. No.: 170,050
Related US. Application Data Division of SerxNo. 877,075, Nov. 17, 1969, which is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 831,557, June 9, 1969.
U.S. Cl ....206/s6 AB, 206/42 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/ 1966 4/1927 l/l960 8/ I962 12/ l 966 Holley ..206/65 R Dixon ..206/39 lvy et al ..206/42 Fredette et al. ..206/42 McConnell et al. ..206/57 R Primary ExaminerWilliam T. Dixson, Jr. Attorney-Robert R. Adams, David B. Ehrlinger,
George M. Richards A pharmacal package wherein a pair of blister sheets ABSTRACT Int. Cl. ..B65d 83/04 blister Sheets being held in adjacent relation Field of Search ..206/42, 65 R, 56 AB 4 Claims, 1 1 Drawing Figures 43 42 4s ,42 2lb 24b ill Patented June 5, 1973 2 ShOCtS-Sheet 1 n 2lb 24b /iOb 1 A 7m MW Mm Patented June 5, 1973' 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 PHARMACAL PACKAGE CONSTRUCTION CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a division of copending application Ser. No. 877,075, filed Nov. 17, 1969, which in turn is a Continuation-in-Part of copending application Ser. No. 831,557, filed June 9, 1969.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION While the package construction of the instant invention has been primarily developed and employed in the pharmaceutical field, and particularly for in-hospital dispensing of drugs, it is appreciated that the novel features disclosed are capable of many varied applications, all of which are intended to be comprehended herein.
As is well-known to those versed in the hospital administration field, the dispensation of drugs, accurately and efficiently, presents many problems both of an economic nature and pertinent to health, safety and law enforcement.
The conventional compounding of prescriptions in the hospital pharmacy, many ofwhich prescriptions are transported more or less loosely on a tray to the various patients rooms, leaves innumerable possibilities for inadvertent error, as in loss, transposition of prescriptions, as well as pilferage, and the like.
Consonant with advanced thinking in the field, it is desirable to employ prepackaged drugs, thereby minimizing or eliminating the possibility of contamination through handling and exposure, and to automatically inventory, store and dispense the required drugs in a manner including the maintenance of completely accurate and current records of drugs ordered, prescribed, dispensed and consumed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the teachings of the instant invention, there is provided a highly improved pharmacal package construction which permits of economical fabrication and filling by the drug manufacturer, being capable of carrying all required indicia in ready visually accessible location, being shipped and stored in its original package to insure sterility, adapted for convenient automatic handling and dispensing, say from conventional dispensing machines, and which provides a continuing record of the actual drug and dosage administered to the patient, the quantity remaining to be administered, and further insures that the drug reaches the patient in its original sterile condition.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a pharmacal package construction having the advantageous characteristics mentioned in the previous paragraph, which is extremely simple in structure, durable throughout storage, handling and use, and which can be economically manufactured and effect substantial economies in costs of handling.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a pharmacal package of the type described wherein the patients prescription may be conveniently incorporated and retained for future reference, from which individual doses are conveniently removed without defacement of the package as a whole, so that even the last remaining dose does not inadvertently get lost,
but remains a part of the entire package until consumed.
It is among additional objects of the present invention to provide package constructions having the advantageous features described above, wherein the blister sheets may be selectively held in adjacent relation, as determined in manufacture, by a resilient hinge means therebetween, or by suitable adhesive, or by interfitting holding formations, so that the broad concepts herein are capable of many varied applications.
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings, which form a material part of this disclosure.
The invention accordingly consists of the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangements of parts, which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described, and of which the scope will be indicated by the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a finished package constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view showing the package of FIG. 1 in condition for receival or removal of aprescription or the like with respect to the package.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view, partly broken away, illustrating an early stage in manufacture of the package of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is an end view showing the intermediate package construction of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view taken generally along the line 55 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is an end view showing the construction of FIGS. 35 in a slightly later stage of package formation.
FIG. 7 is an elevational view taken generally along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is anend view showing still a later stage in formation of the package of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 9 is an elevational view taken generally along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8.
FIG. 10 is a side elevational view showing a slightly modified embodiment of package in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, and partly broken away for purposes of illustration.
FIG. 11 is a side elevational view showing still another embodiment of the instant invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now more particularly to the drawings, and specifically to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, a package is there generally designated 20, and includes a pair of generally rectangular, parallel spaced backing sheets 21, which may be provided with lines of weakening, as by perforations 22, permitting of easy severance along the perforate lines. A pair of blister sheets 23 are each provided with hollow blisters 24, say deformed from the material of the blister sheets, and arranged between the backing sheets 21 with the blisters 24 of respective sheets in back-to-back adjacent relation. More specifically, the blister sheets 23 are each suitably adhesively secured, as by thermoplastic adhesion, in facing engagement with a respective one of the backing sheets 21, so that the backing sheets effectively close the hollows of the respective blisters. The closed blisters 24 may contain suitable contents, such as pharmaecuticals or the like.
Along one pair of adjacent edges of the backing sheets 21, there is a connection therebetween, as at 25,
which provides a hinge or swingable connection between the backing sheets and their respectively carried blister sheets 23. Further, the backing sheets 21 and connecting hinge 25 may all be at least partially fabricated of resiliently flexible thermoplastic sheet material, the hinged connection 25 having been deformed so that its elastic memory serves to resiliently bias the backing sheets 21 and their respective blister sheets 23 toward each other. Thus, the resiliency of the hinged connection 25 serves to effectively hold the blister sheets 23 in adjacent relation, limitedby back-to-back engagement of the blisters 24 of the respective sheets. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the backing sheets 21 and their secured blister sheets 23 have been swung away from each other against the resilient restoring force of the spring hinge means 25. This condition is illustrated to show a prescription 26, or other data carrying sheet, interposed between the adjacent blister sheets 23. That is, the blister sheets 23 swing, by resilience of the hinge 25, toward each other, to frictionally retain the data sheet 26 in the package 20.
While the prescription or data sheet 26 may be removed, when desired, as for inspection or entry thereon, the blister sheets 23 need not be moved away from each other for retrieval of a pill or other contents from a desired blister 24. Rather, a portion ofa backing sheet 21 may merely be severed along the weakened lines 22, and peeled away from the blister sheet 23 to open the adjacent blister 24 and afford access to the contents thereof.
In FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 there are illustrated an intermediate stage in manufacture of the package of FIGS. 1 and 2. It is there seen that a pair of blister sheets 23 are secured to spaced portions 21 of an integral sheet member, the sheet portion intermediate the blister sheets 23 being designated 25. In practice, the blister sheets 23 are initially formed and the blisters filled, as with pills 27, after which the backing sheets 21 are secured in closing relation with respect to the blisters 24 of the blister sheets 23. The securement of backing sheets 21 to blister sheets 23 is preferably of a peelable type, but may be otherwise, if desired,
The early stage assembly of FIG. 3 is illustrated in end and side elevation in FIGS. 4 and 5, respectively.
A die 30 is shown in FIG. 7, being of angulate configuration, and more specifically, of acute angulate configuration. The die 30 is preferably heated, as by a heater 31 on the exterior or obtuse side of the die 30. The early stage package assembly of FIG. 3 is passed laterally along the die 30 of FIG. 7, so that one backing sheet 21 is swung relative to the intermediate sheet portion at an acute angle, as determined by the die, and the thermoplastic material of the sheet portions 21 and 25 are heated by the die to set the bend 32 substantially at the angle of the die. That is, the bend 32 is permanently deformed into the thermoplastic material of backing sheet portions 21 and 25, and any relevant swinging movement therebetween is resiliently resisted by the bend 32.
Similarly, the other sheet portion 21, the right-hand sheet portion 21 as seen in FIG. 7, is flexed or bent relative to the intermediate sheet portion or hinge means 25 by an additional die 35 of acute angulate formation having suitable heating means 36. The die 35 serves to deform an acute angle bend 37, as best seen in FIG. 9.
Upon removal of the package from the die 35, the bends 32 and 37 are equally resiliently swung or distended, so as to locate the backing sheet portions 21, substantially normal to the intermediate hinge sheet portion 25, the condition shown in FIG. 1. The resilient restoring force of the hinge means 25 and its bends 32 and 37 serves to bias the blister sheets 23 toward each other so as to frictionally retain a prescription 26, or the like, between the blister sheets. If desired, the backto-back respective abutting engagement of blisters 24 may be more positively retained by adhesive means therebetween, or adhesive means secured to an inter posed sheet 26, if desired.
If it is desired, the adjacent blisters of respective blister sheets may be offset with respect to each other so as to interfit, with the blisters of each sheet extending between an adjacent pair of blisters of the other sheet. Such a relationship is illustrated in FIG. 10, a pair of backing sheets or backing sheet portions 21a being hingedly connected together, as by hinge means 25d and each being provided on its adjacent surfaces with a respective blister sheet 23a. The blister sheets 23a are each provided with blisters 24a, and the blisters are arranged for interfitting, the blisters of one sheet being interdigitated with respect to the blisters of the other sheet. As is apparent in FIG. 10, the blisters 24a of both sheets 23a are therefore substantially coplanar with each other, which effectively halves the thickness requirement of the package 20a.
While the hinge means 25a may be provided with resilient bends, as in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, so as to resiliently urge the backing sheet portions 21a toward each other into the illustrated condition of FIG. 10, other holding means may be provided if desired. For example, suitable adhesive, as at 40, may retain the blister sheets 23a in their coplanar interfitting relationship. The adhesive 40 may conveniently be located in spots between the ends of certain blisters 24a and the adjacent engaging portions of the other blister sheet. The adhesive 40 may be of a releasable type, if desired.
Another slightly modified embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 11, a pharmacal package there being generally designated 20b, and including a pair of backing sheets 21b hingedly interconnected along one adjacent pair of edges by hinge means 25b. Carried on the'facing sides of the backing sheets 21b are blister sheets 23b, each having a plurality of blisters 24b, which blisters are arranged for interposition of each blister of each blister sheet between a pair of blisters of the other blister sheet. Further, the blisters of each sheet are provided with formations configured for snap interfitting engagement with formations of the blisters of the other blister sheet. In particular, the blisters 24b of the upper blister sheet 23b are each provided with undercut recesses, as at 42, while the blisters 24b of the lower blister sheet 23b are each provided with outstanding lugs 43 for respective snap interfitting engagement with the recesses. This condition is shown in FIG. 11 with the blisters 24b of one blister sheet fully engaged between the blisters 24b of the other blister sheet. However, it is appreciated that snap interfitting formations, as at 42 and 43, may be provided on blisters without full coplanar interfitting relationship between the blister sheets.
Thus, the pharmacal package of FIG. 11, generally designated 20b, may have its backing sheets 21b and the respectively carried blister sheets 23b held in adjacent relation by the interfitting formations 42 and 43. The holding formations 42 and 43 may positively retain the package in the illustrated condition of FIG. 7, or permit the backing sheets to be swung away from each other and returned toward each other, as desired.
From the foregoing, it is seen that the present invention provides a pharmacal package construction which is extremely well-suited for use in the manufacture, transportation, storage and dispensing of drugs, readily adapted for carrying all required and desired indicia and information, inherently stackable to facilitate automatic handling, and otherwise fully accomplishes its intended objects. Of course, each of the pharmaceutical packages illustrated and described hereinbefore may be overwrapped, or may be provided with a receiving sleeve for enhanced attractiveness and strength, if desired.
Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be made within the spirit of the invention.
1. A pharmacal package construction comprising a pair of backing sheets, a pair of mutually cooperating single-piece blister sheets each having a plurality of hollow blisters and each being secured one for one to the backing sheets with the blister hollows facing the respective backing sheet, said backing sheets serving to close said blisters, contents in said closed blisters, the
backing sheets being divided along lines of weakening into portions each adhesively secured to and closing a respective blister and each portion being individually severable and peelable from the blister sheet to expose the content of the blister for retrieval, said backing sheets being arranged with the blisters of respective sheets in interposed side-by-side relation with respect to each other with said blister sheets substantially coplanar to occupy a minimum of space, hinge means swingably connecting together an adjacent pair of edges of said backingsheets, and means holding the blisters of respective sheets in adjacent relation with said backing sheets and backing sheet portions outermost, to define a package exteriorly protected by said backing sheets and adapted for automatic handling and for retrieval of content from a selected blister while the blister sheets are held in adjacent relation.
2. A pharmacal package construction according to claim 1, said hinge means being sufficiently resilient to resiliently urge said backing sheets into position with said blister sheets in adjacent relation.
3. A pharmacal package construction according to claim'l, said holding means comprising adhesive means securing said blister sheets in said coplanar relation.
4. A pharmacal package construction according to claim 1, said holding means comprising resealable adhesive means securing said blister sheets in said coplanar relation.