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The Complete Guide to Types of Packaging Material for Pharma

Effective packaging is particularly important in the pharmaceutical industry. Capsules, tablets, softgels, and gummies need to be properly sealed and protected in order to reach customers in a safe and functional condition. 

Using the appropriate high-quality packaging materials helps keeps products fresh longer and protects them during transit between manufacturing facilities and stores. Effective packaging also ensures customer safety and prevents lost revenue for manufacturers. 

In this guide, we’ll review these common packaging materials for the pharma industry: 

  • Bottles
  • Blister packaging 
  • Cartons
  • Labels
  • Bags and sachets

Before choosing a packaging solution for your company’s products, get familiar with the options described below. To learn more, get in touch with the CapPlus Technologies team and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions. 


Bottles are among the most common packaging materials for capsules, gummies, softgels, and tablets. 

Unless the contents are liquid, pharma bottles are typically made of plastic in order to avoid shattering during transit. 

Equipment used for bottle packaging includes:

Blister Packaging

Blister packaging is a means of housing single doses of a pharmaceutical product in separate “blisters.” Individual blisters can be opened by pressing through the seal on a per-dose basis. 

To make blister packaging, a sheet of blistered plastic is filled with the product. A blister packaging machine is used to insert the individual doses, which are then overlaid with foil. Customers can remove doses by perforating the foil over or between blisters. 

Blister packaging is best for tablets or other products with solid coatings. Fragile softgels or capsules can be damaged by the force used to perforate the packaging. However, softgels with tougher shells are suitable for blister packaging. 


Cartons are often used as a form of secondary packaging. A product is packed into primary units such as bottles or blisters. Then, those units are packed into cartons. Some cartons are resealable, others aren’t. 

Strong, treated paper material is typically used to produce pharma cartons. With this material, you can print labels directly onto the carton to provide information like drug facts, instructions, and brand information. 

To pack products in cartons, a cartoning machine is required. In many packaging lines, a cartoner is among the last pieces of equipment used, after bottles, blisters, or other primary packaging has been filled with the product. 


Labels are another form of secondary packaging used to present information about a product and brand. Although labels aren’t part of product protection, they’re critical for catching the eye of customers and communicating key info. 

Labels should be clear, thorough, and comprehensive. Using a high-quality labeling machine ensures that your labels fulfill your branding requirements clearly and consistently. 

Bags and Sachets

Plastic or foil bags are affordable options for certain pharma products, used as primary or secondary packaging. Bags are flexible and lightweight, thus simplifying some stages of transport and manufacturing. 

When selecting bags as a primary packaging solution, be sure to choose a design that’s resealable. This allows customers to maintain product freshness after opening the package. 

Sachets are similarly affordable and flexible. A sachet is a small bag-like packing unit, such as those that hold individual sugar or ketchup packets. Bunches of sachets are typically housed together in a larger bag, carton, or bottle. Sachets are ideal for product samples or single servings of products that come in a semi-solid form, such as powders. 

To use bags or sachets, you’ll need a bagger machine. Baggers may be integrated with other packing equipment, such as tablet feeders, and may be specialized for certain materials, such as gummies. 

Pharma Packaging Solutions from CapPlus Technologies

CapPlus Technologies is a global leader in pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging equipment. 

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, we serve a global customer base. With 27 years of experience providing innovative solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, we offer comprehensive support that includes training, installation, parts, and service. 

We’re experts on all four solid dose product categories: softgels, gummies, capsules, and tablets. We also support the best and latest solutions for the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. 

To learn more, contact CapPlus technologies any time to discuss our products and services.