Nycomed Pharma

Nycomed Pharma

Designing child-resistant drug packaging


Nycomed Pharma (since acquired by Takeda) required a package for a new pain management drug, Instanyl. The package, which contained a potentially lethal dose, needed to pass the highest levels of child-resistance testing.


A range of technical solutions was sketched, prototyped and tested. The selected design surpassed the brief: it achieved the highest child-resistance rating and also provided “Safe State” at end of life. This patented feature enabled tamper-proof disposal of the residual drug. Bringing this novel design to production involved several trips to the manufacturer in China to ensure that none of the original insights were lost in the final execution.


Nycomed Pharma successfully took Instanyl Nasal Spray to market, where it is helping cancer patients manage the intense pain that breaks through their opiate medication.