The Art of Container Selection: How to Choose Containers That Fit Your Needs


Selecting primary containers for pharmaceutical packaging is a critically important task that necessitates careful attention to a multitude of factors, including the regulatory requirements. Ensuring regulatory compliance is one of the most significant considerations in the process of selecting primary containers for pharmaceutical packaging.

Material Compatibility:
  • Consideration: Ensure that the primary container material is compatible with the substance it will hold.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Different regulatory bodies may have specific guidelines on permissible materials for certain substances. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides regulations for materials used in food packaging.
Chemical Resistance:
  • Consideration: Verify that the primary container is resistant to the chemicals it will contain.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Regulatory agencies often mandate testing and documentation of chemical compatibility. Compliance with standards such as ISO 10993 for medical devices may be necessary.
Strength and Durability:
  • Consideration: Consider the strength and durability of the container, especially if it will be subject to transportation or other stresses.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Regulatory standards may outline requirements for packaging strength and durability. For instance, the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the U.S. has regulations for the packaging of hazardous materials.
  • Consideration: Evaluate the permeability of the container material to gases and liquids.
  • Regulatory Aspect: For pharmaceuticals, regulatory agencies like the FDA may require testing and documentation of container permeability to ensure the stability of the drug product.
Transparency or Opacity:
  • Consideration: Choose transparency or opacity based on the material’s nature.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Some industries may have specific requirements regarding the visibility of the contents. For example, the pharmaceutical industry may have guidelines on light protection for light-sensitive drugs.
Size and Shape:
  • Consideration: Select a size and shape appropriate for the material.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Depending on the industry, there may be regulations on standardized packaging sizes, especially in areas like food and pharmaceuticals.
Closure Systems:
  • Consideration: Choose closure systems that provide a secure seal.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Regulations often require evidence of tamper-evident packaging for certain products. The FDA, for example, has guidelines on tamper-resistant packaging for over-the-counter (OTC) human drug products.
Regulatory Compliance:
  • Consideration: Ensure that containers comply with relevant regulations and standards.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Different industries and regions have specific regulations. For example, REACH in the European Union regulates chemicals, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. regulates pesticides.
Environmental Impact:
  • Consideration: Consider the environmental impact of the containers.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Environmental regulations may dictate requirements for recyclability or the use of eco-friendly materials. Compliance with recycling symbols and guidelines may be necessary.
Documentation and Record-keeping:
  • Consideration: Maintain thorough documentation of container specifications and testing.
  • Regulatory Aspect: Regulatory agencies often require manufacturers to keep records of material testing, quality control, and other relevant information.

Remaining informed about the specific regulations applicable to your industry and product type is of utmost importance. To ensure compliance with current standards and avoid potential legal and safety concerns, it may prove beneficial to seek the advice of regulatory experts or consultants. At GxP Cellators, our team possesses the necessary skill set to provide our clients with the required support when it comes to designing their packaging programs. If you require any assistance with designing your packaging program, please do not hesitate to contact us at


by admin

I am a seasoned GxP expert and the founder and CEO of GxP Cellators, a consulting firm that provides GxP advisory and auditing services to clients across the globe. My mission is to help clients achieve excellence in quality, compliance, and remediation, and to foster a robust quality culture in their organizations.

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