Thursday, July 2, 2009

Small changes make big differences

Customer: I feel the medication I am eating is not effective anymore...Did they change the place of manufacture to China? The new pack looks really suspicious!

Me: Well, it actually still says that it is made in Germany.

Customer: If I am China biz man sure I put made in Germany also mah!

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He did have a point though. The medicine is question was Micardis 40mg. The customer had just bought it somewhere else and he feels its not the real deal coz it looked 'funny'. I thought it was funny - not bwahahah funny but chuckle funny. There is something to this though...

Thanks Boehringer, for taking up more space on my shelf...

The new packing is a lot bigger as seen from the pic above ( I don't have the old Micardis 40 pack anymore, but the 80mg is the same size as the older one). Inside the strip is also bigger as seen in the pic below.

Stevie Wonder can probably read this too now

This is not the first time that a change in medication packaging has caused some confusion and doubt as to the efficacy of the medication. I had a customer who complained that her Norvasc 5mg from the 100's packing was also not as effective as the one she had from the 30's packing, even though the strips and design of the box were identical to every respect except for the size.

Perhaps one of the most recent problems in this area were when there was a drastic change in the packaging for Dalacin T Solution. Both the outside and inside were very different and many regular customers actually avoided buying the new stocks for a while as it really looked so flimsy and cheap when compared to the old glass bottle that they used to be in. This was definitely to cut costs...plastic cheaper than glass.

This is something that I do not really understand well. There are obviously some changes in medicine packaging that can help patients (for eg. incorporating a calender pack on the pack of the blister) but does the aesthetics of the packaging contribute anything? If it doesn't then why not stick to what everyone is familiar with. It'll be like coming home one day and discovering that my wife suddenly has grown a beard overnight. Omg...

4 comments:

MILTON said...

Haha very true! but I think sometimes all these happens due to what is call a 'Placebo effect'. People can easily be influence by what they perceive as 'good'. For example they did this cross comparison between subjects groups who took Propecia and those who just took sugar pills, but were told to have the same benefit as if they took the Propecia. The final result came, and turn out, the initial % of subjects who took the Sugar Pill with successful results, were almost as high as those who took the actual medication for hairloss! Irony isn't?! lol.

Ted said...

Yes Mil, the placebo effect actually testifies to how powerful the mind is over the body. Well unfortunately it can be beneficial or destructive.

Gilbert Wong said...

lol,
i was glancing at this article and it reminded me of M.Jackson medicines. Thought u were discussing bout it~ haha.. my bad~

Johnny Ong said...

packaging is very important. there are expos just on packaging technologies itself so imagine how important it is