Getting Started With Secure Pharmaceutical Packaging

You know there’s a threat to your brand, and you know you need to take action.  Crucial revenues are being lost each day, and your corporate reputation is at risk.  If you are in the pharmaceutical or medical device space, you know that Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) compliance is on the near term horizon.

While you may feel comfortable ensuring the authenticity of product in your own manufacturing facility, the real threat is in the distribution channel where many break points exist for counterfeiters to introduce fake product.

But, how do you get started with adding security features to your product packaging?  One of the key considerations is to find the right partner.

One of the best partners may already be in your camp – your trusted printer.  They already know your products and your daily challenges – such as brand colors, industry regulations, dry time, line speed, etc.

A lot of time has already been spent in presenting your packaging to the market.  There’s all the quality control measures to present the best looking graphics.  And the time spent on necessary approvals.  In many cases, securing your brand can be as simple as adding security taggants to your existing printing ink and processes.  This is where a partner that formulates their own ink can be beneficial.  Your stock ink can become security ink overnight, using the expertise of in house chemists and ink makers.

You printing partner can also advise on how to add more complex covert security features, like invisible barcodes, that allow only authorized personnel, using specially calibrated barcode readers, to detect and verify the codes.  With the data contained in the (invisible) barcode, track and trace functionality is enabled to follow any package from manufacture, right through to the end consumer.  All the while, protecting your consumer and your distribution channels from the appearance of counterfeit or illegitimate product.

In many cases, the ‘real estate’ on product packaging may be limited for adding security marks or codes.   Again, your printing partner can help here.  For example, the DNA Matrix™ security mark can be embedded into any ink and provide forensic level protection and proof of identity for your products.  It can be added to primary and secondary packaging, embedded in a logo, word mark or brand device, or applied as part of a serialization, numbering or barcoding process (overtly or covertly).

The counterfeit threat is real, but help is always close at hand.  Talk to your printer to see how simply anti-counterfeiting devices can be added to your current printing processes.  For more information, please contact Tim Scully


Mike Hayes is the Managing Director of DNA Technologies.  He has been helping customers to combat counterfeiting in print applications for over 10 years.