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United States Patent Application 20080308445
Kind Code A1
Dolak; William A. December 18, 2008

Blister Pack

Abstract

A storage device for storing an ingestible substance includes a composite card having one or more perforated seams defining a plurality of individual cards connected together in a matrix. Each individual card includes a first side edge, a second side edge disposed transverse to the first side edge, a blister, and a first backing material. The blister extends from a first face of the individual card and is adapted to contain at least one dose of the ingestible substance. The first backing material is at least partly adhered to a second face of the individual card. The first backing material defines a pull tab that extends along the entirety of the first or second side edge.


Inventors: Dolak; William A.; (Algonquin, IL)
Correspondence Address:
    FRANCIS C. KOWALIK;WALGREEN CO. LAW DEPARTMENT
    104 WILMOT ROAD, M.S. #1425
    DEERFIELD
    IL
    60015
    US
Assignee: WALGREEN CO.
Deerfield
IL

Serial No.: 763217
Series Code: 11
Filed: June 14, 2007

Current U.S. Class: 206/471; 53/467
Class at Publication: 206/471; 53/467
International Class: B65D 73/00 20060101 B65D073/00; B65B 5/00 20060101 B65B005/00


Claims



1. A storage device for storing an ingestible substance, comprising:a card having a first side edge and a second side edge, the second side edge disposed transverse to the first side edge;a blister extending from a first face of the card and adapted to contain at least one dose of the ingestible substance;a first backing material at least partly adhered to a second face of the card, the second face of the card disposed opposite the first face of the card, the first backing material comprising a pull tab that extends along the entirety of one of the first and second side edges.

2. The storage device of claim 1, further comprising a second backing material adhered to the second face of the card, the second backing material disposed between the first backing material and the card.

3. The storage device of claim 2, wherein the second backing material comprises a foil material covering the second surface of the card and enclosing the blister.

4. The storage device of claim 1, wherein the card comprises a generally rectangular card.

5. The storage device of claim 4, wherein the pull tab comprises a generally rectangular pull tab.

6. The storage device of claim 1, wherein the ingestible substance comprises a medicinal substance.

7. The storage device of claim 1, wherein the ingestible substance comprises at least one pill.

8. A storage device for storing an ingestible substance, comprising:a composite card comprising one or more perforated seams defining a plurality of individual cards connected together in a matrix, each individual card comprising:a first side edge;a second side edge disposed transverse to the first side edge;a blister extending from a first face of the individual card and adapted to contain at least one dose of the ingestible substance; anda first backing material at least partly adhered to a second face of the individual card, the first backing material comprising a pull tab that extends along the entirety of one of the first and second side edges.

9. The storage device of claim 8, wherein the one or more perforated seams of the composite card comprises a first seam and at least one second seam intersecting the first seam.

10. The storage device of claim 9, wherein each of the pull tabs of the individual cards are disposed adjacent the first seam.

11. The storage device of claim 8, further comprising a second backing material adhered to the second face of the individual cards between the individual cards and the first backing material.

12. The storage device of claim 11, wherein the second backing material comprises a foil material covering the second surface of the individual cards and enclosing the blisters.

13. The storage device of claim 8, wherein each individual card comprises a generally rectangular card.

14. The storage device of claim 13, wherein each pull tab comprises a generally rectangular pull tab.

15. The storage device of claim 8, wherein the ingestible substance comprises a medicinal substance.

16. The storage device of claim 8, wherein the ingestible substance comprises at least one pill.

17. A storage device for storing an ingestible substance, comprising:a composite card comprising one or more perforated seams defining a plurality of individual cards connected together in a matrix, each individual card comprising:a first side edge;a second side edge disposed transverse to the first side edge;a blister extending from a first face of the individual card and adapted to contain at least one dose of the ingestible substance;a foil backing layer adhered to a second face of the individual card and enclosing the blister; anda paper backing layer partly adhered to the foil backing layer, the paper backing layer comprising a rectangular pull tab that extends along the entirety of one of the first and second side edges.

18. A method of manufacturing a storage device for storing an ingestible substance, the storage device comprising a composite card, the composite card comprising a plurality of individual cards connected by a first perforated seam and a second perforated seam intersecting the first perforated seam, each individual card comprising a first portion disposed adjacent the first perforated seam and a second portion spaced from the first perforated seam, the method comprising:delivering a dose of the ingestible substance into each of a plurality of blisters, each blister extending from a first surface of one of the plurality of individual cards; andapplying a first backing material to a second surface of the plurality of individual cards, the first backing material comprising:a first rectangular portion overlying the first portion of each individual card and defining a pull tab for each individual card, andtwo second rectangular portions disposed on opposing sides of the first portion, the second portions overlying and adhered to corresponding second portions of the individual cards.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein applying the first backing material comprises heat sealing the first backing material to the second surface of the individual cards.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein heat sealing the first backing material to the second surface of the cards comprises moving a press plate into engagement with the second rectangular portion of the first backing material, the press plate comprising a groove accommodating the first rectangular portion of the first backing material.

21. The method of claim 18, further comprising applying a second backing material to the second surface of the plurality of individual cards prior to applying the first backing material.

22. The method of claim 18, further comprising perforating the first and second perforated seams subsequent to applying the first backing material.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001]The present invention is generally related to blister packs and, more particularly, to blister packs having a peel off backing material.

BACKGROUND

[0002]Pharmaceutical prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are often stored in blister packs. Typical blister packs include a plurality of individual dose cards attached together in a matrix by perforated seams. Each individual dose card includes a transparent plastic blister, which contains a single dose of one or more medications.

[0003]FIG. 1 depicts one conventional blister pack 10 that includes a plurality of individual blister cards 12. The individual cards 12 are connected together by perforated seams 14 such that an individual may remove one or more of the individual cards 12 from the remainder of the blister pack 10, as depicted in FIG. 2, for example.

[0004]As shown in FIG. 2, each individual card 12 of the conventional blister pack 10 includes a front-side 12a, a back-side 12b, a blister 16, a foil backing material 18a, and a paper backing material 18b. The blisters 16 include cylindrical containers constructed of transparent plastic, for example, extending from the front-sides 12a of the individual cards 12. The blisters 16 are therefore adapted to contain tablets, pills, or any other delivery device for medications or other ingestible substances.

[0005]Typically, the foil backing material 18a and the paper backing material 18b constitute a bi-laminate material that is heat-sealed to the back-sides 12b of the individual cards 12. For example, the foil backing material 18a is heat-sealed directly to the cards 12 and the paper backing material 18b is heat-sealed to the foil backing material 18a. As depicted in FIG. 2, however, the bi-laminate foil and paper backing materials 18a, 18b define pull tabs 20, which are not adhered to the back-side 12b of the card 12. Accordingly, an individual may grasp the pull tab 20 to peel the paper backing material 18b from the portion of the foil backing material 18a that is adhered to the card 12. Specifically, peeling the paper backing material 18b separates the paper backing material 18b from the foil backing material 18a that is adhered to the card 12. Thereafter, the individual may push the blister 16 and force the tablet, pill, or other delivery device through the foil backing material 18a. Such a medicinal storage device is often referred to as a peel-and-push blister card or package.

[0006]As illustrated, the pull tabs 20 of the conventional peel-and-push blister card 10 are disposed at the corners of the individual cards 12. Accordingly, the amount of area that each pull tab 20 provides for an individual to grasp is limited by the size and geometry of the individual cards 12. Moreover, when the pull tabs 20 are pulled by a user, the paper backing material 18a often tears such that a portion remains attached to the individual cards 12, thereby covering the blisters 16 and preventing easy access to the pill, tablet, or other delivery device.

SUMMARY

[0007]One embodiment of the present invention includes a storage device for storing an ingestible substance. The storage device generally includes a composite card having one or more perforated seams defining a plurality of individual cards connected together in a matrix. Each individual card includes a first side edge, a second side edge disposed transverse to the first side edge, a blister, and a first backing material. The blister extends from a first face of the individual card and is adapted to contain at least one dose of the ingestible substance. The first backing material is at least partly adhered to a second face of the individual card. The first backing material defines a pull tab that extends along the entirety of the first or second side edge.

[0008]In another embodiment, the one or more perforated seams of the composite card includes a first seam and at least one second seam intersecting the first seam. So configured, each of the pull tabs of the individual cards are disposed adjacent the first seam.

[0009]In another embodiment, the storage device may further include a second backing material adhered to the second face of the individual cards between the individual cards and the first backing material.

[0010]In one embodiment, the second backing material may include a foil material that covers the second surface of the individual cards and encloses the blisters.

[0011]Another embodiment of the present invention includes a method of manufacturing a storage device for storing an ingestible substance. The storage device may include a composite card defining a plurality of individual cards connected by a first perforated seam and a second perforated seam intersecting the first perforated seam. Each individual card may include a first rectangular portion disposed adjacent the first perforated seam and a second rectangular portion spaced from the first perforated seam.

[0012]The method generally includes delivering a dose of the ingestible substance into each of a plurality of blisters extending from a first surface of the individual cards. Additionally, a backing material is applied to a second surface of the plurality of individual cards to seal the blisters. The backing material includes a first rectangular portion and two second rectangular portions. The first rectangular portion overlies the first portion of each individual card and defines a pull tab for removing the backing material from each individual card. The second rectangular portions are disposed on opposing sides of the first portion and are adhered to the second portions of the individual cards.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional blister pack;

[0014]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an individual blister card of the conventional blister pack of FIG. 1;

[0015]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a blister pack constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an individual blister card of the blister pack of FIG. 3; and

[0017]FIG. 5 is a partial schematic representation of a machine for at least partially manufacturing the blister pack of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018]FIG. 3 depicts one peel-and-push blister pack 100 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The blister pack 100 includes a composite blister card 102 having a plurality of perforated seams 104. The perforated seams 104 define a plurality of individual blister cards 106. The disclosed embodiment of the composite card 102 is generally rectangular and includes a longitudinal perforated seam 104a and four (4) transverse perforated seams 104b intersecting the longitudinal seam 104a. Thus, the disclosed embodiment of the composite card 102 includes ten (10) individual cards 106. Alternative embodiments of the composite card 102, however, may include generally any number of individual cards 106 arranged in generally any matrix.

[0019]As illustrated in FIG. 4, each individual card 106 includes a front-side 106a, a back-side 106b, a blister 108, and a backing material 113. The blisters 108 include containers with open ends 108a and closed ends 108b. In the disclosed embodiment, the blisters 108 include generally cylindrical containers; however, in alternative embodiments, the blister 108 may have generally any shape. The open ends 108a of the blisters 108 are disposed adjacent to and substantially flush with the back-sides 106b of the individual cards 106. The closed ends 108b are spaced from the front-sides 106a of the individual cards 106. The blisters 108 are therefore adapted to contain tablets, pills, or any other delivery device (not shown) for medications or other ingestible substances, for example. In one embodiment, the blisters 108 and the individual cards 106 may be integrally constructed as one piece of transparent plastic material. In another embodiment, the individual cards 106 may be constructed of paper, cardboard, or generally any other material and the blisters 108 may include flanges (not shown), for example, disposed adjacent to and fixed to the individual cards 106.

[0020]The backing material 113 includes a bi-laminate material including a foil backing layer 110 and a paper backing layer 112 that are uniformly adhered together. In the disclosed embodiment, the backing material 113 includes a first portion 113a and a second portion 113b. The second portion 113b of the backing material 113 and, more particularly, the foil backing layer 110 of the second portion 113b, is directly and uniformly adhered to the back-side 106b of the individual card 106. For example, in one embodiment, the foil backing layer 110 of the second portion 113b is heat-sealed to the back-side 106b of the individual card 106. Accordingly, the paper backing layer 112 of the second portion 113b of the backing material 113 is also adhered to the back-side 106b of the individual card 106 via the adhesion to the foil backing layer 110. As depicted, the first portion 113a of the backing material 113, which includes portions of both the foil and paper backing layers 110, 112, is not adhered to the card 106. Rather, the first portion 113a of the backing material 113 defines a pull tab 114. The pull tab 114 is freely separable from the individual card 106.

[0021]So configured, an individual may grasp the pull tab 114 to peel the backing material 113 from the individual card 106, thereby gaining access to the medication(s) stored in the blister 108. Specifically, in one embodiment, pulling the pull tab 114 separates the paper backing layer 112 of the second portion 113b of the backing material 113 from the foil backing layer 110 of the second portion 113b of the backing material 113. Thus, the paper backing layer 112 is completely removed from the card 106, while the foil backing layer 110 located the second portion 113b of the backing material 113 remains adhered to the card 106. The individual may then push the blister 108 and force the tablet, pill, or other delivery device through the remaining foil backing layer 110. In one alternative embodiment, pulling the pull tab 114 removes both the paper and foil backing materials 112, 110 from the card 106, thereby eliminating the need to force the tablet, pill, or other delivery device through the foil backing layer 110 by pushing the blister 108.

[0022]For descriptive purposes and with continued reference to FIG. 4, each individual card 106 includes first and second end edges 116a, 116b and a first and second side edges 118a, 118b. The side edges 118a, 118b are disposed transverse to the end edges 116a, 116b, thereby defining generally rectangular individual cards 106. Additionally, the first and second portions 113a, 113b of the backing material 113 are rectangular and extend completely between the first and second side edges 118a, 118b, as depicted. Moreover, the first portion 113a of the backing material 113 on each individual card 106, which also defines the pull tab 114, extends from the first end edge 116a toward the second end edge 116b and terminates at a boundary, which is identified by reference numeral 120 in FIG. 3. The second portion 113b of the backing material 113 on each individual card 106 extends from the boundary 120 to the second end edge 116b. Accordingly, in the disclosed embodiment, the second portion 113b of the backing material 113 is larger than the first portion 113a and covers the open end 108a of the blister 108.

[0023]As mentioned, the first portion 113a of the backing material 113 also defines the pull tab 114 for grasping and peeling the backing material 113 from the individual cards 106. The pull tabs 114 are therefore, also rectangular, which advantageously provides more surface area for an individual to grasp than the conventional pull tabs 20 described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. A better grasp on the pull tab 114 enables the individual to remove the backing material 113 more easily.

[0024]As illustrated in FIG. 3 and mentioned above, each of the individual blister cards 106 are detachable from the composite blister card 102. In one embodiment, the individual cards 106 contain a single dose of a medicine, for example. Accordingly, the composite card 102 contains a plurality of doses. The perforated seams 104a, 104b enable an individual to tear each individual card 106 from the composite card 102 to carry a single dose away or to discard an empty individual card 106, for example.

[0025]The process of manufacturing the blister card 100 of the present invention typically begins with the composite card 102 without the backing material 113 and including empty blisters 108. FIG. 5 schematically, and generally, depicts one embodiment of a machine 200 for applying the backing material 113. The machine 200 generally includes a press 202 and a tray 204. The press 202 includes an actuator 206 coupled to move a press plate 208 via a piston 210. The actuator 206 may be a mechanical actuator, an electromechanical actuator, a manual actuator, or any other device capable of moving the press plate 208. The press plate 208 includes a generally flat rectangular plate including a pressing surface 214 for engaging the backing material 113, as will be described. Additionally, the press plate 208 defines a groove, or elongated recess, 216. In the disclosed embodiment, the groove 216 extends completely through the press plate 208 from a first end 208a to a second end 208b. In one embodiment, the press plate 208 may also include a heating element (not shown) for heating the press plate 208 during a heat sealing operation. The tray 204 includes a generally flat plate defining a plurality of recesses 212. The tray 204 therefore supports the composite card 102 with the blisters 108 received in the recesses 212, such that back-sides 106b of the individual cards 106 (shown in FIG. 4) face upward and toward the press plate 208.

[0026]With the composite card 102 positioned in the tray 204, a piece of the backing material 113 is moved into place on top of the card 102 with the foil backing layer 110 engaging the composite card 102. Then, the actuator 206 moves the press plate 208 such that the pressing surface 214 engages the backing material 113. Specifically, the pressing surface 214 only engages the second portions 113b of the backing material 113 on individual cards 106. The groove 216 in the press plate 208 receives the first portions 113a of the backing material 113 on the individual cards 106. Accordingly, the press plate 208 simultaneously compresses, heats, and uniformly adheres the second portions 113b of the backing material 113 to the composite card 102.

[0027]With the backing material 113 applied to the composite card 102, the perforated seams 104a, 104b are introduced to the composite card 102. Specifically, in one embodiment, the composite card 102 is moved into a cutting press (not shown) having a plurality of blades or other cutting tools arranged in the proper orientation for forming the perforated seams 104. The cutting press moves into engagement with the composite card 102 to form the perforated seams 104. In another embodiment, the composite card 102 may be moved into engagement with one or more cutting wheels for forming the perforated seams 104, or the perforated seams 104 may be formed by any other known process.

[0028]While the pull tabs 114 of the embodiment of the individual cards 106 described above include both the foil backing layer 110 and the paper backing layer 112, alternative embodiments may include pull tabs 114 constructed of only the paper backing layer 112. For example, in one alternative embodiment, the backing material 113 of the blister card 100 may only include the paper backing layer 112. So constructed, the blister card 100 would only require the paper backing layer 112 to be peeled from the individual cards 106 to access the tablets, pills, or other delivery device stored in the blisters 108.

[0029]In another alternative embodiment, the backing material 113 may include both foil and paper backing layers 110, 112, but the foil and paper backing layers 110, 112 are not adhered together in the region of the first portion 113a of the backing material 113, which constitutes the pull tab 114. Rather, only the foil and paper backing layers 110, 112 located in the second portion 113b of the backing material 113 are adhered together. So configured, the entire foil backing layer 110 is uniformly adhered to the back-side 106b of the individual card 106 such that the pull tab 114 is only defined by a portion of the paper backing layer 112. Therefore, an individual may grasp the pull tab 114 in a manner similar to that described above to peel the backing material 113 from the card 106. Specifically, as the individual pulls the pull tab 114, the paper backing layer 112 of the second portion 113b may separate from the foil backing layer 110 of the second portion 113b, thereby requiring the individual to push the tablet, pill, or other delivery device through the remaining foil backing layer 110. Alternatively, pulling the pull tab 114 may remove the entire second portion 113b of the backing material 113 from the card 106 including both the foil and paper backing layers 110, 112.

[0030]One process for constructing this alternative blister card 100, would first require the foil backing layer 110 to be completely and uniformly adhered to the back-sides 106b of the individual cards 106 of the composite card. For example, after filling each blister 108 with the desired number of tablets, the composite card 102 may be transferred to a first pressing machine. The first pressing machine (not shown) may include a heat sealing machine that completely and uniformly heat seals the foil backing layer 110 to the back-side of the composite card 102 and therefore, the back-side 106b of each individual card 106. The foil backing layer 110 seals over the open ends 108a of the blisters 108 to contain the tablets. The heat sealing machine for applying the foil backing layer 110 may include a single uniformly flat press plate, for example. The press plate may simultaneously compress, heat, and adhere the foil backing layer 110 to the composite card 102. After the foil backing layer 110 is applied to the composite card 102, the composite card 102 may be moved into a separate machine such as the machine 200 described above with reference to FIG. 5 for applying the paper backing layer 112.

[0031]While the backing layers 110, 112 have been disclosed herein as including a foil backing layer 110 and a paper backing layer 112, alternative embodiments of the blister pack 100 constructed in accordance with the present invention may include backing layers constructed of different materials, including composite materials.

[0032]In light of the foregoing, it should be appreciated that the present invention is not limited to the example, embodiments, or other details provided herein, but rather, is intended to be defined by the spirit and scope of the following claims.

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