While the number of counterfeit drugs circulating the world is declining, the overall value of the counterfeit pharmaceutical landscape is bigger than ever. As counterfeiters increasingly focus on more expensive drugs, the pharma industry must turn to sophisticated
anti-counterfeit technologies to protect its profit margins – not to mention its vulnerable target audience. Fortunately, as the
battle against counterfeit pharmaceuticals continues to evolve, so do the
packaging technologies that make fighting fakes possible.
Overt anti-counterfeit pharma packaging design
This article lines up some of the most important anti-counterfeit features
pharma packaging designers are using today to help customers establish by themselves whether a product’s the real deal, also referred to as
overt anti-counterfeit features.
1. “This packaging will self-destruct in 3, 2, …”
We’re kidding, of course. Still, pharma packaging these days does feature
self-destructive elements that allow consumers to instantly notice when a product or its packaging has been tampered with. Examples include holograms which consist of several components that come apart when the packaging is opened.
2. 3D holograms
Creating a hologram is no biggie for today’s counterfeiter, so pharma packaging designers are moving beyond ‘old skool’ 2D visual illusions that alter colors or switch logos and codes, favoring 3D holograms instead. Ideally, holograms used in the pharmaceutical market have an extremely high resolution and are based on the most advanced
mathematic algorithms available. Think the kind of hologram governments apply to ID cards.
3. RFID tags
Pharma packaging designers are also continuously exploring RFID (
Radio-Frequency Identification) technology to enable consumers to scan packaging with their smartphones. Most RFID solutions consist of active tags (battery-powered sensors) that continually transmit data to reading devices.
Covert security features for pharma
Even harder to copy than overt security features,
covert elements play a major role in the anti-counterfeit fame as well. Did you know that’s
why diamonds are pharmaceutical packaging’s best friend?
Inspired by Packaging Digest