How New Packaging Technologies are Helping in the Struggle Against Counterfeit Drugs
This article discusses counterfeit drugs, current regulations and the latest packaging technologies.
By Richard Burhouse, Business Development Manager, Payne Security
Security Tear Tape
Finally, in addition to the different overt and covert security techniques and technologies that can be used to protect products, the carriers that these security devices feature on also offer an opportunity to “out fox” the counterfeiter. Using materials that are available from a relatively small numbers of sources makes it even more difficult to create a convincing “pass-off”.
One such example of this is in the use of security tear tape in combination with shrink sleeves as an anti-tamper solution around bottle caps. The tear tape is an ideal medium to integrate a brand protection solution into product packaging. It can carry a variety of sophisticated brand protection features available from overt and covert authentication and tamper- evidence technologies.
The tear tape technology provides solutions for authentication, tamper evidence and product coding. It is virtually impossible to remove the tear tape without destroying it, thereby preventing opening packs, refilling and resealing them without detection. In addition, the removal of the tear tape from the original packaging can be designed to damage the pack surface, leaving behind a void/ tampered message on the pack. This means that the original tear tape cannot be reused by the counterfeiters. As a consequence, counterfeit products are prevented from infiltrating genuine batches.
The pharmaceutical packaging counterfeiting threat is continually developing and new secure techniques have been developed to combat it. Overt, covert and forensic technologies are applied to ensure that packaging cannot be reused or misappropriated. Anti-theft, tamper- evidence and authentication solutions enable inferior and potentially harmful counterfeit products to be reliably intercepted and stolen genuine products recovered. By implementing the new security techniques, robust and reliable protection from tampering, copying and brand infringement is enabled and counterfeiting becomes a difficult and costly process.
1. WHO EXPERT COMMITTEE ON SPECIFICATIONS FOR PHARMACEUTICAL PREPARATIONS, Thirty-sixth Report
2. US Food and Drug Administration, CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 FOOD AND DRUGS, CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SUBCHAPTER C--DRUGS: GENERAL, PART 211 -- CURRENT GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE FOR FINISHED PHARMACEUTICALS, Subpart G--Packaging and Labeling Control, Sec. 211.132 Tamper-evident packaging requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) human drug products
3. US Food and Drug Administration, FDA Counterfeit Drug Task Force Reports
4. European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, WHITE PAPER ON THE ANTI-COUNTERFEITING OF MEDICINES, November 2005
5. Anti-counterfeiting Packaging Technologies in the U.S. Pharmaceutical and Food Industries, January 2007, BCC Research