Design for patient safety: A guide to the graphic design of medication packaging

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This guide from the NPSA is aimed at designers, regulators and purchasing managers, but has broader relevance to pharmacists and anyone involved in design for patient safety.

The packaging and design of medications is a significant design and safety issue, with poor package design contributing to a wide range of medication errors. Better package design can contribute to reduced error and increased adherence. 

This guide provides a clear and visual guide to best practices in designing medication packaging, and highlights key error traps and how to avoid them. It focuses on:

  • blister packs - the most common type of primary packaging for prescription medicines
  • secondary packaging used to contain blister packs
  • the label attached to secondary packaging in pharmacies.


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