Optimising supply chains with clever carton, label and leaflet design

26 Jul 2022

In a market still suffering from volatility, the need for an effective, slick pharmaceutical supply chain has never been greater. 

The supply chain challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic have been acutely felt in the pharma and healthcare sectors, and the pressure is on for health businesses to meet rising demand under tougher manufacturing and logistics conditions.

For the healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, what supply chain roadblocks are top of the agenda?

Temperature management

Cold and temperature controlled pharmaceutical supply chains bring added complexity, as drugs and health products need to be tightly monitored for patient safety. As supply chains tighten and just-in-time manufacturing becomes a more common route to market, temperature control becomes more difficult to monitor and manage.


Changing consumer behaviour, including a more proactive relationship with health, has seen demand outstrip supply in many areas of the healthcare and pharma markets, creating a number of product and material shortages.   

Fast turnaround

In aiming to meet this surging demand, lead times are under the microscope. It is vital that there is effective flow from raw material to the finished product in the patient or end user hands. 

Transparency & security focus

The drive for speed and efficiency cannot come at the expense of compliance, including valuable anti-counterfeit measures to protect against fraudulent or fake drugs. Supply chain transparency and provenance are vital parts of securing patient and end user safety. 

Cost associated with compliance

In meeting tight regulations surrounding pharmaceutical product safety, which can vary greatly from one region to another, there are costs which must be controlled. 

Where can enhanced carton, label and leaflet design help?

Supply chain demands shift, evolve and flex. This means pharma businesses must select their packaging partners carefully and prioritise businesses that integrally understand the needs of the sector, have the resources and assets to deliver at scale, and meet the regulatory compliance needs of the industry. 

As a global leader in pharmaceutical and healthcare secondary packaging design, Essentra Packaging makes the ideal collaborative partner. With a network of facilities spanning every corner of the world, Essentra Packaging can make carton, label and leaflet design work harder for its customers. 

The right packaging design doesn’t just protect and preserve high value contents, it also provides a suite of benefits to the supply chain. When expertise drives innovation, a business like Essentra Packaging can turn carton, label and leaflet design into a true process advantage. 

A great example is Piggyback®, a pharma leaflet service developed in direct response to market complexities. Comprising two or three folded leaflets that are glued back-to-back, Piggyback maximises the printed area while limiting the folded size of the finished leaflet. 

Deceptively simple in concept, the resulting surface area gain brings more design flexibility, greater footprint for essential regulatory information and simpler incorporation of advanced security features.

Another good example of packaging design to support supply chain optimisation is ComboPack™. The system directly tackles a classic bottleneck in the pharmaceutical fulfilment supply chain process, inserting leaflets into product cartons. 

ComboPack enables cartons to be pre-loaded with a cross-folded tagsert before contents are added. The technology therefore eliminates the need for a separate folding process, simplifies the fulfilment stage and supports enhanced speed to market.

Clever packaging, label and leaflet design can be a big advantage in pharmaceutical supply chain optimisation. Discover how it can be made simple and value-adding by speaking with the Essentra Packaging team today – click here to get in touch.