I’m a very allergic person. I’ve been on one antihistamine plus decongestant or another for years, which is often inconvenient. For one thing, the insurance companies don’t like paying for all those meds, so they get the fast-track to over-the-counter. For another, the decongestant in my pills, pseudoephedrine, can be misused as a meth precursor. So the law restricts how much I can buy, requires me to submit my name to a Federal database, requires the store to keep them behind the counter, yada yada. Oh, also (thanks, Wikipedia!) the feds require “Non-liquid dose form of regulated product may only be sold in unit dose blister packs.”
I go back and forth between on-brand and store-brand, between Zyrtec-D and Claritin-D – varying antihistamine is better for your allergies, and sometimes there are coupons! Claritin-D comes in standard blister sheets: 6 or 8 pills, perforated divisions, exactly the sort of packaging we’ve all been opening since our parents couldn’t get child-proof stuff open and we volunteered to help. You rip the blister, out pops the pill.
Zyrtec, on the other hand, has this:
First of all, this is a waste of resources. The box is bigger and more complex (internal divider) to hold piles of individual blister packs, the blister packs use more plastic and foil than a traditional blister sheet. Secondly, they are absolutely positively without any doubt not “Easy Open” (who thought of the phrase “Easy Open Blister” anyway? The word ‘blister’ not associated with leisure and ease, folks.). You have to fold the tear to get it started, the loooong tear sometimes goes awry and doesn’t hit the blister, and even when it does follow the curving perforation perfectly, it only removes a shred of the blister around the pill, leaving the patient to dig at the heavy foil for a while before she can get the damn thing out. That’s without getting into picayune stuff, like it being easier to estimate how many pills you have left from a sheet than from a jumble of blister sarcophagi.
I know, I know, free market, free country, why do I keep buying them? Because I still have some $5 off coupons, and when you need medication to breathe, $5 off three weeks’ supply is not bad. And I can’t believe that the company won’t wise up eventually. After all, I am not the only person to post a picture of this package to Flickr with a grumpy caption. They can’t kid themselves they’re saving the world from meth by adopting such ridiculous packaging when the other brands aren’t encasing their pseudoephedrine in hyperbranded pucks that look like mini-golf greens. Give over, guys. I just want to take my allergy pill and go to sleep without sneezing. You just want me to buy it. Why can’t we get along?