Title:
Holding Device for a Blister Pack and a Method for Opening a Blister
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for holding a blister pack (42) with an array of cavities closed by a foil, which cavities contain an article, said device comprising a housing (8) for receiving said blister pack (42), which housing (8) comprises a base (9) provided with base openings (10) and is arranged to permit movement of said blister pack (42) between a first position and a second position, in which first position the base openings (10) are displaced from the cavities and the base (9) blocking the cavities, and in which second position the base openings (10) are aligned with the cavities, the base openings (10) permitting passage of said article therethrough. The device comprises a locking arrangement (12) comprising a operating means (13) operable by a user, between a locking position and a non-locking position, in which locking position the blister pack (42) is locked in said first position, and in which non-locking position the blister pack (42) is movable to said second position. Said operating means (13) are operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by a first movement of said operating means in relation to the housing, followed by at least one second movement of said operating means in relation to the housing. Further, a method for opening a cavity in a blister pack placed in said device.



Inventors:
Currie, John (Cheshire, GB)
Harris, Christopher (Rutland, GB)
Shaw, Derek (Cheshire, GB)
Application Number:
12/065956
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
09/07/2006
Assignee:
ASTRAZENECA AB (Sodertalje, SE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/492, 206/531
International Classes:
B65B43/38; B65D45/16; B65D83/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHU, KING M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISH & RICHARDSON P.C. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A device for holding a blister pack with an array of cavities closed by a foil, which cavities contain an article, said device comprising a housing for receiving said blister pack, which housing comprises a base, positioned facing the foil side of the blister pack, provided with base openings and is arranged to permit movement of said blister pack between a first position and a second position, in which first position the base openings are at least partially displaced from the cavities and the base blocking the cavities, and in which second position the base openings are aligned with the cavities, the base openings being sized to permit passage of said article therethrough, and said device comprises a locking arrangement comprising operating means operable by a user, between a locking position and a non-locking position, in which locking position the blister pack is locked in said first position, and in which non-locking position the blister pack is movable to said second position, characterized in that said operating means are operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by a first movement of said operating means in relation to the housing, followed by at least one second movement of said operating means in relation to the housing.

2. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that said operating means are operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by being moved in a predetermined first direction of movement, followed by at least being moved in a predetermined second direction of movement.

3. A device according to claim 2, characterized in that said first direction of movement is substantially transverse to said second direction of movement.

4. A device according to claim 2, characterized in that the operating means are arranged to be moved in said first direction of movement by moving a first region of the operating means, and arranged to be moved in said second direction of movement by moving a second region of the operating means, and that said operating means regions are spaced apart.

5. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that said operating means are operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by moving a first region of the operating means in a certain direction of movement, followed by at least moving one second region of the operating means in said certain direction of movement, and that said operating means regions are spaced apart.

6. A device according to claim 4, characterized in that said locking arrangement comprises blocking means for blocking the movement of the operating means to the non-locking position if said second operating means region is moved without moving said first operating means region.

7. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that the operating means are arranged to visually indicate to the user whether the blister pack is locked in said first position or movable to said second position.

8. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that the operating means, when being operated from the non-locking position to the locking position, are arranged to move the blister pack back to said first position.

9. A device according to claim 8, characterized in that the operating means comprise stop means for preventing the movement of the blister pack and thereby locking it in said first position when the operating means are in the locking position, and for pushing the blister pack back to said first position when the operating means are operated from the non-locking position to the locking position, and in that said stop means comprise two fangs between which the blister pack is captured.

10. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that the operating means are operable by pushing by the user.

11. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that the operating means are movable from the non-locking position to the locking position by being pushed in a single predetermined third direction of movement.

12. A device according to claim 11, characterized in that the locking arrangement comprises spring means for urging the operating means into the locking position when being pushed in said predetermined third direction of movement.

13. A device according to claim 12, characterized in that said spring means are arranged to urge the operating means toward the non-locking position.

14. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that the locking arrangement is arranged at a compartment at one side of the housing, in the direction of movement of the blister pack held by said device, in which compartment a portion of the blister pack is insertable when the operating means are in the non-locking position.

15. A device according to claim 4, characterized in that the operating means comprise at least two operating members, the first operating member comprising said first operating means region, and the second operating member comprising said second operating means region.

16. A device according to claim 5, characterized in that said operating members comprise said blocking means.

17. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that the operating means comprise one single operating member.

18. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that said device is flexible to a certain degree, whereby the breaking of the foil covering the blister pack is facilitated.

19. A method for opening a cavity in a blister pack placed in a device according to claim 1, comprising the steps of: unlocking the blister pack from the first position by operating the operating means according to the first movement of said operating means in relation to the housing, followed by at least operating the operating means according to the second movement of said operating means in relation to the housing, whereby the operating means are operated from the locking position to the non-locking position, moving the blister pack from the first position to the second position, in which second position said base openings are aligned with the cavities, and opening a cavity by breaking the foil, whereby the article contained in said cavity is passed through the base opening.

20. A method according to claim 19, characterized in that the foil is broken by flexing said device together with the blister pack.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a device for holding a blister pack with an array of cavities closed by a foil, which cavities contain an article, said device comprising a housing for receiving said blister pack, which housing comprises a base, positioned facing the foil side of the blister pack, provided with base openings and is arranged to permit movement of said blister pack between a first position and a second position, in which first position the base openings are at least partially displaced from the cavities and the base blocking the cavities, and in which second position the base openings are aligned with the cavities, the base openings being sized to permit passage of said article therethrough. The device comprises a locking arrangement comprising a operating member operable by a user using one single hand, between a locking position and a non-locking position, in which locking position the blister pack is locked in said first position, and in which non-locking position the blister pack is movable to said second position. Further, the present invention relates to a method for opening a cavity in a blister pack placed in said device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many medicaments are packaged in blister packs comprising several deformable cavities formed in a flexible sheet. Doses of medicament are received in the cavities which are sealed by a foil. In most cases, to release a dose of medicament, force is applied to the blister pack and is transmitted to the dose, which ruptures the foil, for removal of the dose by the user. These blister packs are convenient and widely used. Unfortunately, it is also easy for unsupervised children to release the doses of medicament from the blister packs, whereby they can be poisoned by ingesting said medicament.

US 2002/0153276 A1 describes a child-proof package for tablets and similar pharmaceutical products comprising a blister pack having cavities containing tablets, and a wall part provided with openings. Said package is arranged to permit movement of said blister pack between an open position and a closed position, in which closed position the cavities are displaced from the openings, and in which open position the cavities are aligned with the openings, the openings being sized to permit passage of a tablet therethrough. The openings in the wall part are covered by a tear-off strip which is removed before pushing the blister pack from the closed position into the open position.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,150,793 A discloses a device for inhibiting removal of an article from a blister pack with an array of cavities closed by a foil, which cavities contain articles. Said device comprises a housing for receiving a blister pack, which housing comprises a base provided with base openings and is arranged to permit movement of said blister pack between a first position and a second position, in which first position the base openings are displaced from the cavities and the base blocking the cavities, and in which second position the base openings are aligned with the cavities, the base openings being sized to permit passage of said article therethrough. Said device comprises biasing means for biasing the blister pack toward said second position.

US 2004/0188314 A1 describes blister pack comprising a protective panel having an array of holes substantially identical to the array of cavities, overlaying the foil and slidable between a first position with the holes at least partially offset from the cavities and the panel blocking the cavities, and a second position with the holes aligned with the cavities. Further, the blister pack comprises a spring web unitary formed with the blister pack and with the panel, and arranged to urge the panel into said first position.

US 2001/0017273 A1, upon which the preamble of claim 1 is based, discloses a child-resistant unit dose holder comprising a blister pack and a sleeve for slidably receiving said blister pack. The sleeve comprises a base provided with two base openings and is arranged to permit movement of said blister pack between a first position and a second position, in which first position the base openings are displaced from the cavities and the base blocking the cavities, and in which second position the base openings are aligned with the cavities, the base openings being sized to permit passage of an article contained in the cavity. Said device comprises releasable detents operable by a user, between a locking position and a non-locking position, in which locking position the blister pack is locked in said first position, and in which non-locking position the blister pack is movable to said second position. The detents are operated in response to flexing the sleeve.

However, above-mentioned solutions have several drawbacks, and are not effective enough in preventing children from opening the blister pack. Some of above-mentioned devices are also too hard to operate for elderly or disabled users. In the solutions of U.S. Pat. No. 5,150,793 and US 2004/0188314 A1, respectively, the cavities are held in the displaced position only by biasing means, the force of which can be easily overcome by a child, but too hard to overcome by a disabled person. In the solution of US 2002/0153276 A1, after the removal of the tear-off strip, the cavities are held in the displaced position only by a frictional force of resistance of a narrowing between the closed and open position, which force also can be easily overcome by a child. Further, in the solution of US 2001/0017273 A1, the locking detents are released only by a simple flexing operation, whereby the blister pack is unlocked and can be easily slid to the position where the cavities can be opened, and the children can gain access to the medicament contained in the cavities of the blister pack.

THE OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is therefore to provide a device for holding a blister pack, securely protecting children from opening the blister pack, and at the same time being easy to operate by the intended user, especially by elderly or disabled persons.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above-mentioned object is achieved by providing a device of the kind defined in the preamble of claim 1, comprising the special features that said operating means are operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by a first movement of said operating means in relation to the housing, followed by at least one second movement of said operating means in relation to the housing.

By the use of said inventive device having said operating means which necessarily has to be moved in at least two steps following each other for unlocking the blister pack from said first position and enabling the blister pack to be moved to said second position, thus enabling opening of the cavities, a very secure arrangement is provided in the event of a child getting hold of the blister pack. At the same time, the device is easy to handle by the intended user, especially by elderly or disabled persons, since the operating means are operable without any greater force and the operation of the operating means is intuitive.

The device according to the invention provides a convenient and simple solution for protecting children from accessing medicaments. The protective device only slightly enlarges the blister pack, and the protective device together with the blister pack are both discrete and handbag friendly. It is also safe to carry the blister pack in a bag, since there is no risk of pills falling out from the blister pack, as a result of the secure locking arrangement.

The article contained in a cavity of the blister pack comprises a dose of medicament, e.g. a pill. The device can be adapted to various kinds of blister packs having different kinds of patterns for the array of cavities. The device can be provided with an inserted blister pack and ready to use, and be a disposable article, but can also be re-filled and re-used after a blister pack has been emptied.

According to an advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, said operating means are operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by being moved in a predetermined first direction of movement, followed by at least being moved in a predetermined second direction of movement. Advantageously, said first direction of movement is substantially transverse to said second direction of movement.

According to a further advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means are arranged to be moved in said first direction of movement by moving a first region of the operating means, and arranged to be moved in said second direction of movement by moving a second region of the operating means, said operating means regions being spaced apart. This embodiment further increases the child resistant character, without impairing the easy and intuitive operation of the device for an intended user. However, it is also possible to provide the operating means with a single operating means region arranged to be pushed in both the first and the second direction of movement.

According to another advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, said operating means are operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by moving a first region of the operating means in a certain direction of movement, followed by at least moving one second region of the operating means in said certain direction of movement, said operating means regions being spaced apart.

According to yet another advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, said locking arrangement comprises blocking means for blocking the movement of the operating means to the non-locking position if said second operating means region is moved without moving said first operating means region.

According to still another advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means are arranged to visually indicate to the user whether the blister pack is locked in said first position or movable to said second position.

According to an advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means, when being operated from the non-locking position to the locking position, are arranged to move the blister pack back to said first position.

According to a further advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means comprise stop means for preventing the movement of the blister pack and thereby locking it in said first position when the operating means are in the locking position, and for pushing the blister pack back to said first position when the operating means are operated from the non-locking position to the locking position, said stop means comprising two fangs between which the blister pack is captured.

According to another advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means are operable by pushing by the user.

According to still another advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means are movable from the non-locking position to the locking position by being pushed in a single predetermined third direction of movement.

According to yet another advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the locking arrangement comprises spring means for urging the operating means into the locking position when being pushed in said predetermined third direction of movement. Advantageously, said spring means are arranged to urge the operating means toward the non-locking position.

According to an advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the locking arrangement is arranged at a compartment at one side of the housing, in the direction of movement of the blister pack held by said device, in which compartment a portion of the blister pack is insertable when the operating means are in the non-locking position.

According to a further advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means comprise at least two operating members, the first operating member comprising said first operating means region, and the second operating member comprising said second operating means region, and advantageously, said operating members comprise said blocking means.

According to still another advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, the operating means comprise one single operating member.

According to a further advantageous embodiment of the device according to the present invention, said device is flexible to a certain degree, whereby the breaking of the foil covering the blister pack is facilitated. By using a flexible device, breaking of the foil covering the blister pack blisters is easily achieved by bending the device together with the blister pack, thereby breaking the foil. This is especially advantageous when in use by elderly persons, or persons with weak hands like rheumatics. The device can be made of any suitable material which is flexible enough and rigid enough, for example a plastic material.

Further, the above-mentioned objects are attained by a method of the kind defined in the preamble of claim 19 comprising the special steps of:

    • unlocking the blister pack from the first position by operating the operating means according to the first movement of said operating means in relation to the housing, followed by at least operating the operating means according to the second movement of said operating means in relation to the housing, whereby the operating means are operated from the locking position to the non-locking position,
    • moving the blister pack from the first position to the second position, in which second position said base openings are aligned with the cavities, and
    • opening a cavity by breaking the foil, whereby the article contained in said cavity is passed through the base opening.

According to an advantageous embodiment of the method according to the present invention, the foil is broken by flexing said device together with the blister pack.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, for exemplary purposes, in more detail by way of embodiments and with reference to the enclosed drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1-2 are side views of the same embodiment of the device according to the present invention, without the blister pack,

FIG. 3 is a magnified view of a portion of the embodiment of FIG. 1,

FIGS. 4-5 are schematic perspective views of the embodiment of FIG. 1, holding a blister pack,

FIGS. 6-10 are cross sectional views of the locking arrangement of the embodiment of FIG. 1, where the operating member is in different positions,

FIG. 11 is an illustrative view illustrating the different steps of the method for opening a cavity in a blister pack placed in a device according to the present invention, and

FIG. 12 is a schematic view of an embodiment of an inventive auxiliary device for use in combination with the device according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows the front side of an embodiment of the device for holding a blister pack with an array of cavities closed by a foil, which cavities contain an article, according to the present invention. The device comprises a housing 8 for receiving said blister pack. The housing 8 is designed to be flexible to a certain degree and is formed of a plastic material. The housing 8 comprises a planar base 9, positioned facing the foil side of the blister pack, provided with an array of elliptical base openings 10, but any other shape of the base openings 10 is possible, and with a pair of longitudinal flanges 11 extending inwardly from opposed sides to define a slot for receiving the blister pack. The housing 8 is arranged to permit movement of said blister pack between a first position and a second position, in which first position the base openings 10 are at least partially displaced from the cavities of the blister pack and the base 9 blocking the cavities, and in which second position the base openings 10 are aligned with the cavities. Further, the housing 8 comprises spacing means, provided inside the housing 8 at the base 9, for providing a space between the foil side of the blister pack and the base 9, in order to allow the blister pack to slide smoothly between said first position and said second position, especially after the removal of several articles from the cavities when ruptured foil portions may extend from the foil side of the blister pack. The base openings 10 are sized to permit passage of the article, contained in the cavity, therethrough. Further, the housing 8 comprises an entry portion 41, which will be discussed in more detail in connection to FIG. 2, via which the blister pack is inserted into the housing 8. The device comprises a locking arrangement 12 comprising an operating member 13 operable by a user using one single hand or two hands, between a locking position and a non-locking position, in which locking position the blister pack is locked in said first position, and in which non-locking position the blister pack is movable to said second position.

FIG. 2 shows the rear side of the device of FIG. 1. When the blister pack is in the second position where the base openings 10 are aligned with the cavities, an article contained in the cavity can be released by flexing the device and applying a force to the front side of the blister pack, more specifically to the cavity in question, which is then transmitted to the article which ruptures the foil and passes through the base opening 10.

FIG. 3 is a magnified view of the entry portion 41 shown in FIG. 1. At the entry portion 41 each flange 11 is provided with a notch 14. The notches 14 are positioned opposite each other, forming a transverse entry slot, and the end portion 15 of the entry portion 41 is provided with a pair of leading edges 16. The length of the transverse entry slot formed by said notches 14, i.e. the distance from the inner wall 17 of one of the notches 14 to the inner wall 17 of the other notch 14, is slightly smaller the width of the sheet of the blister pack. When the blister pack sheet is forced into said transverse entry slot, the blister pack sheet is slightly buckled by the two leading edges 16, whereby the blister pack sheet is fitted into said transverse entry slot and can be inserted into the housing. When the blister pack is fully received by the housing, the two leading edges 16 function as blocking means preventing children from removing the blister pack from the housing 8 via said transverse entry slot. In the entry portion 41, three recesses 43, 44 are provided in the base 9. These recesses 43, 44 are arranged to be penetrated by a certain tool from the rear side of the device, in order to remove the blister pack from the device. Said certain tool is arranged to force the blister pack away from the base 9 in a direction transverse to the direction of movement of the blister pack between said first and second positions, and out of its engagement with the housing.

FIG. 4 shows the embodiment of FIG. 1 in perspective, holding a blister pack 42. The blister pack 42 is in said first position and the operating member 13 of the locking arrangement is in the locking position.

FIG. 5 shows the embodiment of FIG. 4, having the blister pack 42 in said second first position and the operating member 13 in the non-locking position.

FIG. 6 shows, in cross section, the locking arrangement 12 of the embodiment of FIG. 1, where the operating member 13 is in the locking position. The locking arrangement 12 comprises a guiding frame 30 in which the operating member 13 is guided. There is no actual attachment between the guiding frame 30 and the operating member 13, but the operating member 13 is retained in the locking arrangement by said guiding frame 30. Further, the guiding frame 30 prevents the operating member 13 from being moved in a direction transverse to the plane of said base 9. The operating member 13 is operable from the locking position to the non-locking position by being pushed in a predetermined first direction of movement 19, followed by being pushed in a predetermined second direction of movement 20. Said first direction of movement 19 is substantially transverse to said second direction of movement 20. The operating member 13 is arranged to be pushed in said first direction of movement 19 by pushing a first region 21 of the operating member 13, and arranged to be pushed in said second direction of movement 20 by pushing a second region 22 of the operating member 13, said operating means regions 21, 22 being spaced apart. The locking arrangement 12 is arranged at a compartment 23 at one side of the housing 8, in the direction of movement of the blister pack held by said device, in which compartment 23 a portion of the blister pack is insertable when the operating member 13 is in the non-locking position. The operating member 13 comprises stop means 24 for stopping the blister pack from being inserted into the compartment 23 when the operating member 13 is in the locking position, as it is in FIG. 6, whereby the blister pack is prevented from being moved to the second position. The stop means 24 are in the form of two fangs 25, 26, between which the blister pack is captured, whereby the blister pack is prevented from possibly pass the stop means 24 when the operating member 13 is in the locking position, in consequence of an excessive force on the blister pack in the direction of movement of the blister pack. Further, the locking arrangement 12 comprises spring means 27, 28 comprising a first spring member 27 and a second spring member 28. In the position of FIG. 6, the spring means 27, 28 are arranged to urge the first operating means region 21 against the first direction of movement 19. The locking arrangement 12 comprises first retaining means 29 for preventing the first operating means region 21 to pass its resting position, against the first direction of movement 19, the resting position of the first operating means region 21 being the position of the first operating means region 21 when there is no action on the operating member 13 and it is in the locking position. Further, the spring means 27, 28 are arranged to urge the second operating means region 22 against the second direction of movement 20. The locking arrangement 12 comprises second retaining means 31 for preventing the second operating means region 22 to pass its resting position against the second direction of movement 20, the resting position of the second operating means region 22 being the position of the second operating means region 22 when there is no action on the operating member 13 and it is in the locking position. The locking arrangement 12 comprises first blocking means 32 for blocking the movement of the second operating means region 22 from its resting position in a direction transverse to the second direction of movement 20.

FIG. 7 shows the locking arrangement 12 with the operating member 13 in a first transitional position. The user is pushing the first operating means region 21 in said first direction of movement 19, whereby the operating member 13 is pushed in the same direction. By this action, a protrusion 33 of the operating member 13, which is projecting in the second direction of movement 20, is positioned in alignment with a complementary recess 34 of the guiding frame 30, permitting the operating member 13 to be pushed in the second direction of movement 20.

FIG. 8 shows the locking arrangement 12 with the operating member 13 in a third transitional position, between the second transitional position and the non-locking position. The locking arrangement 12 comprises third retaining means 40 for preventing the operating member 13 to be fully released from the guiding frame 30. The third retaining means 40 comprise a hitch 35 provided on the operating member 13 and a complementary hitch recess 36 provided in the guiding frame 30. FIG. 8 shows the hitch 35 and the complementary hitch recess 36 just before they are engaging.

FIG. 9 shows the locking arrangement 12 with the operating member 13 in the non-locking position. Said hitch 35 has fully engaged the complementary hitch recess 36, whereby the operating member 13 is prevented from being fully released from the guiding frame 30. Said spring means 27, 28 are arranged to urge the operating member 13 toward the non-locking position. In the non-locking position, the operating member 13 is arranged to visually indicate to the user whether the blister pack is locked in said first position or movable to said second position. The operating member 13 is movable from the non-locking position to the locking position by being pushed in a single predetermined third direction of movement 37. The operating member 13, when being operated from the non-locking position to the locking position, is arranged to move the blister pack back to said first position, by means of said stop means 24. When the operating member 13 is pushed in said third direction of movement 37, the spring means 27, 28 are arranged to urge the operating member 13 back into the locking position.

FIG. 10 shows the locking arrangement 12 with the operating member 13 in a blocked position. The locking arrangement comprises second blocking means 38 for blocking the movement of the operating member 13 in said second direction of movement 20 if said second operating means region 22 is pushed without pushing said first operating means region 21. Said second blocking means 38 comprise said protrusion 33 of the operating member 13 and a blocking recess 39. When the user is pushing the second operating means region 22 in said second direction of movement 20 without pushing said first operating means region 21, the protrusion 33 is arranged to engage said blocking recess 39, and since the blocking recess 39 is considerably shallow the movement of the operating member 13 in the second direction of movement 20 is blocked. By providing a blocking recess 39 instead of a just blocking wall, an accidental sliding of the protrusion 33 from the blocking position into alignment with a complementary recess 34 is prevented.

FIG. 11 illustrates the method for opening a cavity in a blister pack held in a device according to the present invention, by way of seven different steps.

In step 1, the first operating member portion is pushed in the predetermined first direction of movement, whereby the operating member is pushed in same direction and moved to the first transitional position, which is shown in FIG. 7, in which position the operating member is permitted to be pushed in the second direction of movement.

In step 2, the second operating member portion is pushed in the predetermined second direction of movement, whereby the operating member is pushed in same direction and moved to the second transitional position, in which position the second operating member portion is permitted to be moved in a direction substantially transverse to the second direction of movement into the non-locking position.

In step 3, the operating member is urged in a direction transverse to the second direction of movement into the non-locking position, which is shown in FIG. 9, by means of the spring means of the locking arrangement and the user's thumb. When the operating member is in the non-locking position, the operating member visually indicates to the user, by means of its position, whether the blister pack is locked in said first position or movable to said second position.

In step 4, the blister pack is moved in the direction of the arrow and a portion of the blister pack is inserted in the compartment of the locking arrangement, whereby the blister pack is moved from the first position to the second position, in which first position the base openings are displaced from the cavities and the base blocking the cavities, and in which second position the base openings are aligned with the cavities.

In step 5, a cavity is opened by breaking the foil, which foil is broken by flexing the device together with the blister pack, whereby the article contained in said cavity is passed through the base opening, and falls into the hand of the user.

In step 6, the operating member is pushed in the single predetermined third direction of movement, shown by the arrow, and by this action the operating member starts to urge the blister pack toward said first position, in which the base openings are displaced from the cavities and the base blocking the cavities, preventing the cavities from being opened.

In step 7, the blister pack is forced back to the first position in the direction of the arrow, by means of the stop means of the operating member, and the spring means of the locking arrangement urge the operating member into the locking position, whereby the blister pack is locked in said first position.

In FIG. 11, the operating member is operated by a user using two hands, but the operating member is very suitable for operation by a user using one single hand.

FIG. 12 shows schematic view of an embodiment of the auxiliary device for use in combination with the device according to the present invention. The auxiliary device comprises a planar base portion 50 and wall portions 51, 52 surrounding said base portion 50, forming a tray with an opening. The auxiliary device comprises resting means 53 for permitting the device to rest at the opening with its rear side facing the base portion of the auxiliary device. The auxiliary device can also comprise retaining means positioned at said opening, for releasably retaining the device of the invention at said opening. The engagement of the device with the auxiliary device enables elderly/handicapped people to remove an article more easily from the blister pack, for example by using a tool. Further, the auxiliary device comprises an opening 54 at the base portion 50, in any of the wall portions 51, 52 or in the base portion 50, advantageously at a corner, through which the removed article can pass. Further, the auxiliary device can be used for storing the device when not in use.