Packaging Development for Oxygen- and Moisture-Sensitive Pharmaceuticals

A new development described in the white paper "Packaging Development for Oxygen- and Moisture-Sensitive Pharmaceuticals" is the desiccant blister – a blister with integrated desiccant developed by Uhlmann and Ivers-Lee. (Source: Uhlmann)

New white paper by Uhlmann and Ivers-Lee

What is the optimal way of structuring the development process for pharmaceutical packaging? What options are there for packaging pharmaceuticals that are sensitive to moisture and oxygen? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of packaging? A new white paper published by Uhlmann in collaboration with Ivers-Lee answers all of these questions. One of the options it presents is an innovative blister with desiccant.

The process of developing pharmaceutical packaging is complex even when just dealing with stable solids. However, in the case of pharmaceuticals that are sensitive to moisture and oxygen, pharmaceutical packaging plays an even more important role. The packaging for these types of drugs requires barrier properties which protect the product against moisture and oxygen. The white paper "Packaging Development for Oxygen- and Moisture-Sensitive Pharmaceuticals" describes the process of packaging development, gives information about its optimal structure and provides an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of different types of packaging for unstable tablets and capsules. It can be downloaded free of charge from

The innovative packaging option of blisters with desiccant
One of the options presented in the white paper – blisters with desiccant in each blister pocket – was developed by Ivers-Lee in collaboration with Uhlmann for a global leader in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector based in California.

To create this solution, Uhlmann developed a special feeder with a punch for the desiccant. At the beginning of the process, a SimTap feeder inserts the tablets precisely into the blister pockets. At the next station, which is a new addition, very small strips are punched out of the desiccant, which is fed in as a ribbon, and placed directly on the products. To ensure that the desiccant does not slip out of place, the experts have lowered the blister pockets and provided them with the corresponding inserts. This solution's innovative design and its combination of SimTap with a punch are both patent pending. 

As a result of the heating during sealing, the desiccant adheres to the cover film in exactly the required position. Nothing moves or warps and the sealing process takes place without interruption, reaching a machine output of 70 blisters per minute. This is then followed by the processes of perforating and stamping the blisters. 
The new blister is used for expensive and highly effective products, such as those provided by Ivers-Lee's customers. This includes medicines for HIV prophylaxis, cancer therapy and treating AIDS and hepatitis. For these types of medicines, shelf life and patient safety are key criteria – both of which are improved significantly with the innovative blister solution. Moreover, it is vital that the products are taken correctly – which is not always easy for patients to understand when taking loose tablets. In contrast, supplying individual tablets in blisters ensures high patient safety and convenience. 

Press release [PDF]
Press photos [ZIP]


Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG is a global leader in providing systems for packing pharmaceuticals in blister packaging, bottles and cartons. In addition to its innovative packaging lines, Uhlmann offers consultation, project management, extensive services and digital solutions from a single source. The company is part of the Uhlmann Group, which achieved a turnover of €423 million in the 2020/21 business year with around 2600 employees. Other companies in the Uhlmann Group are KOCH Pac-Systeme, Cremer Speciaalmachines, Wonder Packing Machinery and Axito. 
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The Ivers-Lee Group has built up a name for itself over many years as a reliable, quality-conscious, highly flexible packaging specialist and contract packager. Ivers-Lee packs a variety of brand-name products for small, medium-sized and multinational companies in accordance with the rules of good manufacturing practice (cGMP) at its certified production site in Switzerland. Through its specialist sister company IL-CSM Clinical Supplies Management GmbH in Lörrach, Germany, the Group has a site in the EU for logistical matters and market approvals. In addition, this unit has extensive experience in the field of clinical samples. The Group has a clear focus on development and the market approval phase. 
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