Latest Anti-counterfeiting packaging for Pharma Sector

Around 80% of drugs used in day-to-day life can be ordered online now

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Drug Medicine Pharma manufacturing Factory Industry Unit
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on January 6, 2024 by The Health Master

Latest Anti-counterfeiting packaging

Over the past year, ensuring healthcare products are delivered to healthcare professionals and consumers safe and secure has been vital.

While anti-counterfeiting technologies have long been an important component in the pharmaceutical supply chain, since the pandemic the demand has not only sky-rocketed but became a necessity.

Anti-counterfeit packaging is the process of assigning secure packaging to a product to minimise counterfeiting or infringement and in doing so, the product is then prevented from imitation and confirms the safety of the goods.

In recent years the demand for anti-counterfeit packaging has continued to grow, with predictions that The Global Anti-Counterfeiting Packaging Market is estimated to develop at a rapid pace from 2021 to 2027.

Two factors:

There are two major factors that are influencing the adoption of anti-counterfeit packaging.

First factor: The first is to protect from economical and reputational damage to a company.

Such technologies automatically authenticate a product’s genuineness and offer brand security, helping to eliminate potential fraudulent use of a manufacturer’s brand image.

Second factor: Secondly, and most importantly, anti-counterfeit packaging prevents potential consumer health risks. A factor that is becoming increasingly important as e-commerce pharmaceuticals see a huge growth, a change we have witnessed first-hand at Southgate.

While this has been a practice for some time now, since the start of the pandemic, 4.3 million adults across the UK have ordered medication online for the first time.

Home delivery: There are various reasons why people have turned to postal deliveries for their medication, for example, for ease and convenience, to avoid making journeys to the pharmacy, and to prevent the risk of infection from C-19.

OTC Drug: One factor that is making one of the biggest shifts in pharmaceutical distribution right now is that more and more consumers are now buying over the counter (OTC) products that are non-controlled online.

Online purchase: Around 80% of drugs used in day-to-day life can be ordered online now and consumers are embracing e-commerce as convenient access to them. This started pre-C-19, but the pandemic has certainly played a role in the rise, and now the responsibility lies to distributors to meet this new demand.

It will be interesting to see if this shift in consumer behaviour is set to stay in the long-term and if so, how this will shape pharmaceutical packaging designs.

While the process of selling pharmaceuticals online and distributing direct to the consumer presents a high risk of counterfeiting, it is not the sole reason for concern. Many packaging companies are also receiving requests from companies where their medicines have experienced counterfeit through traditional distribution channels.

The inability to know for certain if a patient has received a genuine product is then a major issue for medical professionals.

Ensuring pharmaceutical products are delivered from factory to patient in a safe yet efficient manner is an intricate operation with many components to consider. Complex restrictions and performance requirements must be met, all while ensuring it is protected and untampered on its journey.

As a result, packaging companies are playing a pivotal role by introducing the latest technologies and new ways of manufacturing, assembling, filling, and sealing pharma products to ensure successful and secure end-to-end delivery.

At Southgate, we design our products with safety at the forefront. Last year, we wrapped up five million NHS C-19 home testing kits using our range of self-seal bags to minimise the danger of excessive handling and contamination. Our design meant that the tests could be quickly and efficiently sealed and sent out to people who are unable to attend test sites.

Looking ahead, the continued growth of e-commerce pharmaceuticals will certainly present new and lasting challenges for both the pharma and packaging industry.

The need for multi-layered protection technologies that can be easily and effectively integrated into packaging will become increasingly important as a means of securing both pharmaceutical brands and the consumer.

Counterfeiting continues to be one of the most serious threats faced by the pharmaceutical industry, causing damage in terms of consumer health, economic health, and public trust in healthcare systems.

Undoubtedly, designing and specifying the packaging used throughout the end-to-end supply for medicines is a complex challenge and the packaging specialist’s role is a difficult one. Yet our role is becoming ever more important as we set to meet new consumer requirements and increased demand.

Working together with both the pharma industry and educating the end customer, we can fight the ever-increasing risk over the next few years.

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