Years ago, when I first started seeing these packages in advertisments for various GlaxoSmithKline inhalant powders, the design looked to me like something produced by some alien technology. (See below the Diskus® as compared to an alien “cutting disk” from the movie, “Predator.”)
Later I happened to see some patents for the device —(Diskus® in the US; Accuhaler® in the UK)— and I realized how ambitious a package it was.
The inhalers that I was previously familiar with had all used aerosol propellants, which the Diskus does not use. This inhaler also has a counter which countdown to “0” the remaining metered doses and unfolds open and closed on a rotational axis. The alien asymmetry of its profile is largely due to the fact that it’s mechanism was designed to be actuated by the thumb of one’s right hand.
I recently got a chance to interact with the alien technology of the Diskus, having been prescribed Advair for a temporary bronchial inflammation.
One thing that could have made more obvious for me, was that you don’t feel like you’re inhaling anything. I wound up impetuously double dosing until I noticed a slight crunchy residue of powder in my mouth. Reading more carefully, I noticed this fact was mentioned later in the instructions.
Last year, Advair was the 4th best-selling prescription drug at $4.7 Billion. (via: Consumer Reports)
Designed by Gregor Anderson, head of GlaxoSmithKline’s “Technical Packaging Centre of Excellence,” the Diskus won a “Gold Award” in the 2003 DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.
(More about Diskus manufacture and its clockwork interior, after the fold…)
Manufactured in the UK by Bespak.
Bespak were the original manufacturers of this long-standing and highly successful device and have been making them at their factory in King’s Lynn for some
15 [now, 17] years. During this time they have moulded all the components that comprise the device before assembling them into the product. During this period in excess of 7 billion individual components have been moulded and assembled by Bespak. Every moulded piece and assembled device is inspected on the line by sophisticated optical and other testing systems.
Celebrations continue at this time for GSK who also celebrate the building of their one billionth Diskus worldwide.
Beach Packaging Design