Visiting a Hospital Pharmacy Helps Produce “Good Medicines” Kawashima Packaging Technology Group
Packaging Planning Section
Production & Logistics Headquarters

February, 2006

The daily manufacturing activities of the Production & Logistics Headquarters at Eisai are conducted in accordance with the quality policy that “The quality of every single tablet, capsule, and ampule that we produce is integral to the life of patient.” As well as being of high-quality, we consider it important that our products are safe and easy to take, and have convenient packaging.

Kawashima Packaging Technology Group is a section which designs packaging for pharmaceutical products. One of our tasks is ensuring the stability of drug products. Others include choosing appropriate materials and packaging forms and designing containers, in the pursuit of safety and convenience in packaging.

We wished to know what “good medicines” meant in terms of safety and convenience. Motivated by this desire, we asked a neighborhood hospital pharmacy to allow some of our group to visit them. At a hospital pharmacy, pharmacists dispense medicines in accordance with doctors' prescriptions for inpatients and outpatients. We believe that it is the patients who take medicines and pharmacists who handle them who determine whether they are “good medicines” or not, and that if you do not know the criteria of “good medicines”, you can not design “good packaging” for them. In order to find out what these criteria were, we felt it necessary to visit a pharmacy and experience the provision of medicines on the same footing as patients and pharmacists.

During the visit, we observed the placing of injectable solutions and tablets in blister packages on the shelves for each inpatient, replenishing medicines in a cabinet and putting tablets into a packaging machine which packages individual doses of medicines for patients. Through conversations with the pharmacists and our on-site experience, we learned a lot about which types of packaging were convenient and which kinds had problems.

This was a precious experience for us because we were able to feel at first hand that “good medicines” are safe and easy to take for patients and that “good packaging” makes them easy to handle for “medical professionals.” Kawashima Packaging Technology Group will continue its efforts to design “good medicines” and “good packaging” for patients and medical professionals, basing this on experience gained at medical institutions, where we can be close to patients.