Issues & Solutions in Pharma Packaging

Issues & Solutions in Pharma Packaging

Leaflet: The most important document that goes along with a medicine. It provides the required information about the medicine to the patient/user.
Errors: –

  1. Wrong Leaflet
  2. No leaflet
  3. Blank leaflet
  4. One side blank leaflet.

Causes: –

Wrong leaflet:-
This can happen under two circumstances.
a) Mix up of leaflets at the suppliers end.
b) Mix up of leaflets at the Pharma Company.

To avoid this kind of error, the supplier must take utmost care to apply perfect systems to avoid mix ups, viz:

  1. Print only one type of leaflet at a time.
  2. Clean entire floor, especially old sheets/pieces etc. before starting a new product.
  3. All sheets should be properly carried to the cutting machine. The cutting machine should be clean. All the sheets / pieces of the previous job must be removed, in shore, a proper line clearance must be assured. This should be confirmed by a responsible officer before allowing the sheets to be carried to the cutting machine.
  4. In case of folded leaflets, again the same process like cutting is followed i.e. an officer should confirm that entire paper waste is removed from the surroundings of the folding machine.
  5. Camera system: A camera system may be mounted on the folding machine. This can verify the desired unique code on each and every leaflet passing on the machine. The absence of the unique code or variation in the value of this unique code confirms incorrect leaflets and strops the machine instantly.

Coding on Pharma leaflet:-

  1. Pharma code: – The most common mode of coding a Pharma leaflet is ‘Pharma code’. The Pharmacode allotted to the medicine is printed in the corner of the leaflet. This has a unique distinct number. While the leaflets are running on the folding machine, camera/code reader inspects each leaflet for this unique number.
    In case of multicolor leaflets, this Pharma code may be printed in different colors to confirm the presence of each color.
  2. Barcode: – A barcode allotted to the medicine is printed in the corner of the leaflet.
  3. 2D / Data matrix code: – The more advanced coding system gaining increasing acceptance is using a Datamatrix code. This contains much more information in a small space.


  1. Obstructions in changing the design of leaflet to add a code in the same.
  2. Space constraints in the folding machine to accommodate camera/sensor.

In such cases, it is difficult to focus the camera on the code and verify its value.
It is then advised to read some unique characters on the leaflet. This of course, has much lower level of mix-up verification authenticity.



  1. Double sheet on the printing machine.
  2. Release of impression before last sheet passes on the printing machine.
  3. Sheet passes before ‘PRINT ON’ on the printing machine.
  4. Negligence of machine operator.


  1. Use of advanced double sheet detectors on the printing machine. This can detect a dual sheet amongst thinnest paper. These sensors prevent any dual sheet being fed to the printing machine.
  2. Provide sensor based equipment to detect a non printed sheet on the printing machine. This equipment cautions the machine operator whenever a non printed sheet passes through. It also increments the count of blank sheets passed through. The supervisor then matches this no. along with actual blank sheets in the file.
  3. Tagger: – A tag is inserted amongst the delivery where a blank sheet has passed through the printing unit.

For Folded leaflets:-

  1. Blank sheet detectors- A device specially designed for folding machines is mounted on the folding machines to verify that the leaflet is ‘PRINTED’ and not a ‘BLANK’ sheet.
    This of course, cannot detect mix-ups or wrong leaflets but it does have a great use in preventing blank leaflets.
    In this device, print sensors are mounted on both sides of the sheet and thus it can detect even ‘ONE SIDE BLANK’ leaflets.
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