Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Breaking into blister-pack pill packages

At one YouTube tutorial on how to break your pills out of their accursed plastic prison, a commenter wonders angrily who invented unit-dose packaging. Well…I don’t know for sure who invented it, but I did know a guy who said he invented it and who developed and marketed it. He was one of my ex-husband’s legal clients. Seemed like a benign enough fellow…today if I knew where he is, I’d wring his neck.

Actually, I think he’s passed on. Too bad.

Here in Arizona, because of the thriving meth trade, you can’t buy Sudafed or generic pseudoephedrine without begging for it at the pharmacist’s counter, forking over your ID, and signing a form. If you try to go from pharmacy to pharmacy to buy enough to cook up some meth (or to have enough on hand for a really bad allergy season), you risk arrest. And it ALWAYS comes in those hateful unit-dose bubble-wraps.

I dunno about you, but when I have a screaming sinus headache because the wind has been blowing crap into the air all day and all night, the LAST thing I want to do is break my nails and cut my fingers doing battle with a goddamn plastic package to get to my allergy nostrum.

So after I’ve extracted a box containing two flats of annoying blister-pack from the pharmacist, I will take all the pills out of the damn wrapping at once and drop them into a jar. But this task seems to get harder and harder: big pharma works not only to fleece the customer but to make the customer’s life as difficult as possible.


The advice given by the YouTube lady (above) is less than perfect. Cutting them out with a knife or a pair of scissors wrecks your knife or scissors (the tinfoil backing dulls any blade). And punching the pills out one at a time wrecks your fingers.

Here’s what you need to foil a blister-pack:

a cutting device with a razor blade, such as an Exacto knife or a paint scraper
a Phillip’s screwdriver
a bottle with a label clearly identifying the med
the damned blister-pack full of pills

Hold the blister pack perpendicular to the countertop and give it a gentle shake to cause all the pills to move to one side of the blisters.

On the back (foil) side, slice a cut into the pill-free edge of each bubble.

Turn the package plastic-side up, and use the Phillip’s screwdriver to poke each pill through the backing. A Phillip’s is the right size for a round pill; you may need a large slot screwdriver for bigger oblong pills.

Yes, it is an aggravating hassle, but with this technique you can free up a whole package of Sudafeds in the time it takes to wrestle one or two of them out with your fingers.

You can see, in the photo below, what happens when you try to hack the things out with a pair of scissors. You get sharp pieces of foil, a mess to clean up, and damaged pills. Get out the paint-scraper the screwdriver, and the remaining package (right next to the bottle and the scraper) comes apart quickly, without ruining the pills and without creating a mess of sharp metallic litter.

pillbreakoutDo not use a good knife for this task. That silver metallic backing shit will wreck your knife’s edge, if the damned plastic doesn’t. Keep a cheap Exacto knife or paint scraper on hand for removing pills from their packages.

Author: funny

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  1. Not quite related but the other night I wanted to put in a shower head that I had bought a few years ago but never got around to installing. It was for the kids bath and they’ve just recently started taking showers, so it finally became a priority.

    They had this shower head, which probably cost $15 or so if memory served, secured in so much plastic that was of course bonded together that I’m surprised I didn’t end up in the ER. It was actually a two pronged effort, because when you peeled the front of it away after cutting it, you only got the nozzle. You had to flip it over and go through the entire process to get out the hose and pipe attachment.

    It took me 45 seconds to install, but 10 minutes to get it out of the package. Insane.

  2. …..and the “crazy” and disturbing fact is this plastic waste DOES NOT rot. The sun causes the plastic to break down into smaller pieces but not rot. From what I have read it takes a thousand years for plastic to break down somewhat and maybe more if it’s buried in a landfill…how unfortunate that no one thinks this thru. To recycle this crap I have to separate the aluminum from the plastic. The cool thing is, the plastic is used to make “plastic lumber” used on decks.
    As for all the meds being locked up….same here….it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. In addition, to the allergy meds, high priced razor blades are now basically kept in a keyed clear plexi-glass safe deposit box. If you want to make a purchase you have to find someone with the key….Good Luck with that…then an armed guard escorts you to checkout….