Have you ever experienced wrap rage? That mind-erasingly furious state of frustration that comes after trying and failing to open blister packaging or bottle packaging? According to a survey from the Cox School of Business, about 80% of households have experienced anger, frustration, and even outright rage when dealing with packaging materials.
With so many people upset, you’d think that pharma packaging services would make their products packaging medical supplies a little bit easier to open. Were they to do that, though, they’d have an even more serious problem on their hands than just consumer frustration.
Companies in charge of packaging medical supplies make their wrapping so difficult to open in order to ensure that they’re packaging medical goods in a way that can’t be tampered with. Though that seems like an odd thing to be worried about, it’s happened before. Here are a few past cases of product tampering that may shock you.
In 1998, a cardiac intensive care unit in the United Arab Emirates suddenly found itself dealing with an outbreak of Serratia marcescens bacteria. Investigators linked the outbreak to tampered vials of fentanyl, a strong narcotic. It turned out that a respiratory therapist was addicted to the stuff, had stolen some, and replaced it with water that’d been contaminated with the bacteria.
In 1991, Joseph Meling murdered his wife by giving her a Sudafed that’d been laced with cyanide so that he could collect her life insurance. In order to throw suspicion off of himself, he tampered with five other bottles, and planted them at other stores. Unfortunately, his plot claimed the lives of Kathleen Daneker and Stanley McWhorter before authorities caught found that he’d been packaging medical supplies with poison.
In 1982, seven people in the Chicago area died after they took extra-strength Tylenol that’d been laced with potassium cyanide. The incidents led to massive store recalls, and legislation that changed that way big pharma was packaging medical goods, forcing them to add tamper proofing measures (which many companies had already started to do on their own in the wake of the incident). Unfortunately, the culprit was never caught.
Packaging medical supplies in a way that can’t be tampered with is a big responsibility, and though it may cause consumer frustration, it needs to be done this way. If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.