26th June 2017Brand ProtectionHealthcareHologramSecure Labels

Are your Pharmacy labels secure enough to prevent counterfeiting?

There is no doubt that pharmacy labels have to change.

Did you know, 1 in 10 drugs globally is said to be counterfeit and I fact,  7 in 10 in some countries.  Governments worldwide are working hard at tackling the issue and raising awareness.

In 2011, the EU adopted a new directive which focuses on the tracking, security and safety requirements including the Unique Identifier and the tamper-evident seal on drugs packaging.

Isn’t it about time for a change?

Back in 2011, the Directive concentrated on three main objectives:

  • The outer packaging of prescribed medicines should bear a specific number and anti-tampering device
  • The active ingredients in the drugs should be manufactured according to appropriate quality standards whether they are produced in the EU or imported.
  • Online legitimate pharmacists should carry the same logo across the EU

At the end of 2015, the European Commission submitted additional requirements including specific rules on the safety features applied on the outer packaging of medicinal products.

Pharmaceutical organisations operating in the EU have until 2019 to get ready and comply with the Directive. By then, they will have to meet serialisation and verification requirements meaning that the outer packaging of any medicine will require carrying the following features:

  • Security features which make it possible for wholesalers and professionals who have the responsibility to prescribe medicines to the public to verify the authenticity of the medicine and identify single packs
  • A device which makes it possible to check if the outer packaging has been tampered with

Tamper-verification features, what are they?

Tamper-proof packaging labels can carry a range of security features which indicate that the outer-packaging has been opened of tampered with. However, the EU directive has stringent conditions about the tamper-evident features used. For example, the seal must not prevent the readability of the information and the text on the packaging must remain readable after the pack has been opened.

The primary objective is for prescribers to be easily able to tell if the packaging has been tampered with.

If you had thought this is a non-issue, the World Health Organisation might help you to think again with this article: The growing threat from counterfeit medicines

What about us?

While you may say “that’s the EU and not Australia”, don’t worry; it won’t be long before the same applies here. Following on from the EU Directive, similar guidelines are already being implemented in the US, India, Brazil, South Korea and many others. Australia will most certainly follow suit.

If you are still a sceptic, think again. Just remember the last time you bought a new laptop, iPad, Tablet or software product? They already carry a security tracking and genuine label. Pharmacy isn’t far behind.

How can Hague Australia help?

Expert in security print solutions with years of experience, Hague Australia provides a comprehensive range of security products aimed at protecting brands worldwide. Our dedicated pharma team work closely with our clients to understand their requirements and offer expert advice on how they can protect themselves from counterfeiting.

Our security products include multi-component labels combining a number of overt and covert security features such as 3D holograms, complex numbering, security inks and a wide range of tamper-evident adhesives. We can also offer track and trace technology.

Contact us to discuss how we can protect your brand.