Design towards better life experience: Closing the gap between pharmaceutical packaging design and elderly people
The aging of the population is a worldwide trend, especially in Western countries. The increased number of people living past 65 years is also a trend for polypharmacy (the multiple use of medication) among elderly people. In terms of market orientation, the pharmaceutical industry is well-developed, but the same cannot be said in terms of design orientation. Previous studies indicate that packaging is one of the biggest issues in the use of medications by elderly people, with a lack of inclusivity of older patients. Since interest in pharmaceutical packaging is growing, an explorative review of design approaches for inclusion of senior citizens by the industry is needed. This paper reviews how design research and current design practices have been conducted in pharmaceutical packaging design. It mainly concerns the choices of methods to understand and to integrate the needs of elderly people. The paper also presents four propositions for future empirical studies in the field.