As American lifespans continue to increase and modern medicine keeps advancing, pharmaceutical companies will continue to increase their over-the-counter and prescription offerings to benefit the public. But while these medications can play an immensely important part in our overall well-being, it’s important to remember that each one comes with its own set of risks, side effects, warnings, and intentions for use. Now, more than ever, pharmaceutical companies need to provide adequate information in order to promote consumer safety. And one of the main ways to provide that necessary information is through pharmaceutical labeling.

Although you have many options for label design for pharmaceutical products, one of the most effective types of custom commercial labels are those that allow for extended content. Let’s take a closer look at extended content booklet labels and why they’re so in-demand for the pharmaceutical industry.

What Are Expanded Content Labels?

Also known as extended content or booklet labels, expanded content labels (or ECL) allow the consumer to open up the label to reveal additional information. They may be peeled open and may even be resealable. In some cases, they may have multiple pages of extra information. Sometimes, illustrations are included. These labels can be printed in several different colors and may come in different styles to address your needs.

Why Should Pharmaceutical Companies Use Extended Content Booklet Labels?

There are several reasons why extended content booklet labels make sense for pharmaceutical products, in particular.

Regulatory Information

For one thing, medications are subject to a number of regulations, which must be reflected in their packaging and labeling. In order to be compliant with these requirements, manufacturers often have to include a substantial amount of text. This can be problematic when you’re dealing with limited real estate on pill bottles or small packages.

Rather than take up valuable space, many manufacturers will opt to include extra information on these kinds of labels. Although all necessary data, warnings, and instructions will be included where mandated, having an additional spot for other information can promote consumer trust and safety.

Multiple Languages

Pharmaceutical companies may also need to explore extended content labels when they need to list information in multiple languages. Whether there is multi-language clinical study data to share or you need to consolidate the labeling process for multiple languages included, expanded labels can allow you to fit in everything you need and serve all customers while maintaining an uncluttered packaging experience.

This can also eliminate the need for extraneous product inserts that can easily be lost and that often translate to added costs. That means that both the consumer and the manufacturer will benefit from this type of label.


While the information included on these kinds of labels can promote increased safety and awareness, booklet labels can also be used for marketing purposes. For example, the 46% of survey respondents who often use calorie information included on the label of a product might be rewarded for opening the expanded content label with an in-store coupon. Many over-the-counter medications utilize expanded content labels to address both of these goals.

Efficiency & Cost Savings

Drug package designers will often place their labeled bottle product in a folding carton along with a Pharmaceutical Instruction (“PI”) sheet, which contains all the safety information. This means an extra step in printing, folding, and inserting on the packaging line.

Since a label is already being applied on the packaging line to the drug container, it would be a great advantage to use expanded content booklet labels. This way, all that information that would be otherwise be on a separate PI sheet can be on the booklet label instead, saving all those production and packaging steps.

Also, very importantly, since most consumers throw out the folding carton along with the PI and never have access to that important information again, the booklet label stays with the product so that information is never lost over the lifespan of the drug use.


Although not every pharmaceutical label will be of the booklet variety, these labels are starting to become more prevalent — and for good reason. To learn more about how extended content labels can improve your packaging process, ensure compliance, and increase customer satisfaction, please contact us today.