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Enhancing pharmaceutical packaging through a technology ecosystem to facilitate the reuse of medicines and reduce medicinal waste

Hui, T. K. L., Mohammed, B., Donyai, P., McCrindle, R. and Sherratt, R. S. (2020) Enhancing pharmaceutical packaging through a technology ecosystem to facilitate the reuse of medicines and reduce medicinal waste. Pharmacy, 8 (2). 58. ISSN 2226-4787

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/pharmacy8020058


The idea of reusing dispensed medicines is appealing to the general public provided its benefits are illustrated, its risks minimized, and the logistics resolved. For example, medicine reuse could help reduce medicinal waste, protect the environment and improve public health. However, the associated technologies and legislation facilitating medicine reuse are generally not available. The availability of suitable technologies could arguably help shape stakeholders’ beliefs and in turn, uptake of a future medicine reuse scheme by tackling the risks and facilitating the practicalities. A literature survey is undertaken to lay down the groundwork for implementing technologies on and around pharmaceutical packaging in order to meet stakeholders’ previously expressed misgivings about medicine reuse (’stakeholder requirements’), and propose a novel ecosystem for, in effect, reusing returned medicines. Methods: A structured literature search examining the application of existing technologies on pharmaceutical packaging to enable medicine reuse was conducted and presented as a narrative review. Results: Reviewed technologies are classified according to different stakeholders’ requirements, and a novel ecosystem from a technology perspective is suggested as a solution to reusing medicines. Conclusion: Active sensing technologies applying to pharmaceutical packaging using printed electronics enlist medicines to be part of the Internet of Things network. Validating the quality and safety of returned medicines through this network seems to be the most effective way for reusing medicines and the correct application of technologies may be the key enabler.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:89993


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