Pharmaceutical Pack Management - why is it important?

Pharma Pack Management, artwork administration, artwork co-ordination…..whichever description you use, managing pharmaceutical labelling artwork is a pivotal function in the pharmaceutical supply chain and one that rarely gets the attention it deserves.

Performed effectively, implementing and maintaining compliant labelling for product SKUs (stock keeping units) becomes an opportunity to reduce costs, improve an organisation’s reputation for quality and differentiate them from their competitors.

But perform it badly or not at all, it can harm your patients, kill your company, trigger a product recall, delay product supply or regularly cause stock outs that directly impact the balance sheet. When errors occur, 4 main groups are impacted;


Effective medical treatment is based on trust at all levels. Patients put their trust in a health professional directly through consultation and prescription. They also place their trust in pharmaceutical companies to produce and supply them a prescribed product to the highest standards of quality and this includes the labelling. An error in the labelling can therefore not only be directly harmful – by causing a prescribing error for instance – but can also undermine the confidence a patient population has in individual drug companies.


There is an expectation held by all prescribers, be they pharmacists, consultants, doctors, nurses or other health care professionals that products and their labelling will be accurate, up to date, free from errors and manufactured to the highest quality standards. Aside from a prescribers trust in a company and product being damaged by labelling errors, they are also directly impacted as remedial action on their part diverts resources away from their primary function of providing health care services.


With labelling errors identified as a significant cause of recalls, regulators are increasingly focusing audit attention on labelling change processes. With today’s technological advances providing opportunities for improved quality they are becoming less tolerant of bad practice and have the powers to take punitive action against companies not meeting expected GMP standards.

Pharmaceutical companies

At a macro level, pharmaceutical companies can be significantly harmed, both in terms of reputation and share price, by labelling errors. These indirect costs are joined by the direct costs of managing an incident. Reworking or batch and product write-offs often result, which alone can run into costs of tens of thousands. Drilling down further, the affected artwork studios and process participants will be analysing causes for the error and looking for ways to improve the process.

With its importance better understood our next article will focus on where to locate the pack management department in a pharma business.

Packaging error driven product recalls in the pharma industry

Product Recalls
packaging errors remain the largest cause of product recallsIt is well known that product packaging errors remain a significant cause of product recalls through non compliant implementation or labelling errors. Poor labelling design also contributes to a large number of prescribing errors by pharmacists. Both these problems can have a detrimental effect on your company’s reputation, your bottom line and indeed the patient.

Meeting the challenge
Addressing these issues along with the full gamut of associated requirements and challenges in the most efficient and compliant manner is paramount to most companies. Unfortunately, packaging design and artwork management are not natural skill sets found in the pharmaceutical & life sciences industries, which is the reason why more and more companies turn to industry experts for the design and artwork management of their product packaging.

Understanding and meeting the pack management needs of the pharmaceutical sector and reducing labelling driven product recalls has always been Pinnaculum’s mission. Pinnaculum are specialists in this area with over 20 years experience in assisting global top five through to small pharmaceutical companies in creating and managing their printed packaging components.

Best in class solutions
We seek best in class solutions in terms of economy, speed and quality. Our disciplined approach and expertise helps bring new products to market quicker and labelling change implementation compliance. Our quality driven processes and methodologies prevent labelling driven product recalls and the impact they can bring to pharmaceutical companies and their reputation.

CALL US TODAY +44 (0)1438 791113We can help
Whether you are looking for assistance in improving your own internal systems or are looking for a full third-party service, talk to us today to see how Pinnaculum could become your partner of choice and deliver financial and quality benefits, giving you peace of mind in this specialist area whilst allowing you to focus on your core business.

Posted by Mark Wilkinson

Filed in product recalls, labelling design, packaging errors,