The general term ‘packaging’ is used to describe the container that immediately covers the medicine, e.g. blister pack or bottle, as well as the packaging, e.g. carton, in which the medicine is supplied to the consumer.
All packaging must comply with the Therapeutic Goods Administration requirements for labelling (include link to information on labelling), as well as requirements for child-resistant packaging and tamper-evident packaging.
Child-resistant packaging, or CRP, is packaging that is designed or constructed to be difficult for young children to open and so can help prevent accidental poisoning. It does not mean that the packaging is child-proof and impossible for young children to open.
There are two different types of child-resistant packaging:
- Reclosable packaging – this means that the package can be closed again by, for example, replacing the cap.
It is important to always remember to properly close any product with this type of packaging to ensure that children cannot open them.
- Non-reclosable packaging – this type of packaging cannot be closed after use. Examples are tablets/capsules that have to be pushed through foil (blister packaging).
Tamper-evident packaging, or TEP, means packaging that has an indicator or barrier to entry which, if broken or missing, provides the consumer with visible or audible evidence that tampering may have occurred.
It helps consumers recognise if the packaging has been opened, damaged or tampered with.
Most medicines must use tamper-evident packaging. However, it is not required for some products, e.g., toothpastes, lozenges, essential oils, products applied to the skin for local effect and preparations in pressurised aerosol containers.
The label of all medicines that use tamper-evident packaging must describe the type of feature that has been used.
Click here to see examples of the types of tamper-evident packaging that are used and possible label descriptions.