Packaging Innovation
Pharmaceutical packaging - security labels
February 4, 2016

Pharmaceutical packaging – 5 security label design tips

Even though counterfeit medication rarely makes the news, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it accounts for almost ten percent of the global illegal drug market. This number is expected to grow even more in the next few years. Besides taking revenue away from the pharmaceutical industry, counterfeit medication also takes its toll on unsuspecting consumers, some of whom are taking them to treat life-threatening conditions. To protect themselves and consumers from falling prey to counterfeiters, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to security labeling. Is your label design secure enough for the pharmaceutical industry? These tips will help you stay ahead of counterfeiters:

1. Spend your money wisely

Since counterfeiters are mostly attracted to expensive medication, it is wise to spend your money accordingly. Investigate which drugs have the largest value and invest the lion’s share of your security labeling budget in those drugs.

2. Labels that leave a VOID pattern

A technique often used by drug counterfeiters is simply reusing empty, original containers and filling them with a counterfeit product. You can easily prevent them from doing this by using selectively destructible labels that leave behind a VOID pattern once the container has been opened.

3. Labels with a dyed substrate

Another trick drug counterfeiters often turn to is creating fake labels. Since counterfeiters tend to print their labels on white or transparent substrates, it is wise to print your labels on a substrate that has been dyed. That way, it only takes a simple scratch with a knife to tell an authentic label from a fake.

4. Holographic security labels

Using holographic labels with intentional imperfections is another effective technique to thwart fake labels. Most counterfeiters don’t pick up on tiny imperfections and many of them don’t have the means to design and print holographic labels.

5. Traceable components

Embedding traceable components, such as a BitSecure tracking element, into your labels will help you strengthen the efficiency and security of your supply chain and identify possible weaknesses. Make sure the traceable components are invisible to the naked eye and that only relevant authorities are able to use the tracking device(s) linked to the components.   Inspired by Pharmaceutical Manufacturing