Blister packs are a specific type of product packaging that consists of pre-formed, molded plastic, heat sealed over a printed paperboard card. This packaging is most commonly used to hold pharmaceutical products, but it may also be used to package other small consumer goods. The paperboard card backing may contain a layer of paper, foil or plastic as well. The pre-formed, molded compartment is clear, allowing the consumer to easily view its contents.
The single most common use for blister packs is packaging drug capsules or tablets in single dose units. They are used to package both pharmacy dispensed and over-the-counter medications. Typically, the capsule or tablet contained within the blister pack is pushed through the back of the attached card and therefore, in many parts of the world, this type of packaging is referred to as push through packs (PTPs). The individual compartments are often separated by a perforation so that they can be torn away from the card individually.
Blister packs provide several benefits to the manufacturer and the consumer. This type of packaging helps manufacturers meet shelf-life requirements and also prevents tampering. They also enable manufacturers to print specific information on the back of each individual compartment. Consumers also benefit from this information. The only disadvantage to consumers is the difficulty of releasing the capsule from some packs. People with arthritis or other degenerative condition that impacts dexterity can have difficulty getting the pills out.
Examples of other products that may be packaged and distributed in blister packs include contact lenses, hardware, small toys, and craft supplies. Many packaging companies supply manufacturers with various types of custom packaging. A similar type of packaging, known as skin packs, involve sealing consumer goods to a paperboard card with a single sheet of plastic rather than individual plastic compartments.