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Blister Packs Better Than Loose PillsThe verdict is in: blister packs may be a safer bet for packaging your medication. In the U.S. and sometimes in Canada, however, medications are dispensed as loose pills.

According to the FDA, over 1.3 million people are injured each year due to medication mistakes, which include dispensing errors in U.S. hospitals and pharmacies. As discussed in a blogpost by Roger Bate, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, it may be safer to receive your medications in blister packs, whether dispensed locally or from an international pharmacy by mail, and the FDA seems to agree.

The process of transferring pills at the pharmacy from a large container into a smaller pill bottle for final dispensing opens the door to human errors, ones that are avoided by dispensing medication in blister packs.

The FDA supports use of blister packs to tackle the problem:

“Thoughtful use of unit-of-use container closures (e.g., blister packaging, calendar packaging, sachets, and pouches) that can be dispensed intact to patients may help to reduce medication errors. Such packaging may minimize certain medication dispensing errors that can occur when repackaging from a bulk container into patient-specific containers.”

For those of you who have ordered medications internationally, particularly from Australia, India, New Zealand, Singapore or Turkey, you know that the pills come in the original manufacturer’s packaging.

International online pharmacies in the PharmacyChecker Verification Program mostly dispense medications in line with FDA’s blister pack recommendation.

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