Packaging run amok

CRW_03615.CRW: Digital Rebel, EF 17-40mm 1:4L @ 36mm, 1/125, f/8, 100 ISO, bounced flashHave you ever looked at a product an marvelled at the sheer excess of packaging? I have, but these freebie antibiotics take the cake. To the right is a photo of the packaging. I took the image with my hand so you can see the scale. Realise I don’t have very small hands, either. Reading closely, you’ll note this box contains a single dose of two tablets. They’re not gigantic capsules¬†requiring such a large box. Far from it. They’re also stored in a blister-pack within the box and have a nearly letter-sized page of instructions included.

Now remember I was given a ten-day supply and you can imagine the waste. You might argue it’s a sample so it’s not all that strange. I’d argue back reminding you this is an antibiotic. You don’t just take one dose. You take the whole regimen or else it won’t work, and you’ve given the bacteria enough of a taste of the antibiotic to build up some resistance to it. I suppose a doctor could prescribe this antibiotic to a patient, and also give them a dose or two so they don’t have to visit the pharmacy the same day. Still, I wonder how many doctors do this.

And it’s too much packaging anyway!

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One Comment

  1. harmony
    Posted November 21, 2005 at 11:21 | Permalink

    re: pharmaceutical packaging — Several years ago I was working for a doctor and we had the same thoughts about the packaging, so we did some comparisons of sample packaging by weight and volume compared to the actual pill weight and volume. We wrote up our findings in a letter to the editor that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was astounding. I wish I still had the pictures of all the packages piled up next to this tiny hill of pills.

    I’d link to the article but you have to have a subscription to the NEJM to read the full text…

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