Designing for pharma patient security

16 Jun 2022

Exploring Micro-Optics technology

Emerging from the global Covid-19 pandemic, the pharma sector is at a critical time in its history, innovating every single day to eradicate disease and treat illness. At the same time, packaging is having to take on a more important role in ensuring these pharma products reach their destinations and end users securely.  

Product and packaging developers at every stage of the pharmaceutical supply chain, whether for OTC or clinical products, now operate in a world where factors such as security and hygiene are firmly at the top of the agenda - with significant repercussions for brands that get it wrong.  

What has proved absolutely paramount is the agility and readiness to respond quickly. With a changing global health landscape, where retail sectors such as pharma can find volatile changes in supply and demand, new project developments required massively accelerated speeds. 

The prominence of security

Coding has become a standardised method to comply with changing legislation, intended to boost patient and consumer safety. Historically, coding has been used as a way to control, monitor and analyse a particular part of the supply chain. 

More recently, there is movement towards coding as a tool to improve patient care. This is extending its use beyond the manufacturing supply chain and directly into the hands of the consumer, broadening its role from supply chain traceability to user assurance and security.

The growth of the clinical trials sector reinforces the need for safety, security and transparency. According to research from Clinical Trials Arena, the decentralised clinical trials subcategory is seeing rapid growth, rising almost 30% from 2021. Due to this significant market growth, the needs for enhanced end-user safety becomes ever more clear. 

Of course when it comes to patient and consumer safety, we must also consider the impact of falsified drug, vaccine and diagnostic products, connected with the global pandemic response. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes approximately 30 Medical Product Alerts involving counterfeit and falsified vaccine vials across a number of continents, signalling a potential for very significant patient and consumer safety risks. 

In response to the rising challenge of patient safety, security strategies across the pharma industry are reacting with more thoughtful and connected approaches, making use of new and emerging technology available to today’s packaging supply chain. 

Essentra Packaging and Crane Currency Micro-Optics

Looking ahead to the future of pharmaceutical packaging security, it’s clear that Secondary Packaging is one of the most relevant vehicles for enhancing product security. 

Generally speaking, counterfeit manufacturers know many of the past measures in place, which means that security strategies today must be designed with a full 360º approach in order to be both successful and cost-effective. As Direct-to-Patient healthcare is increasing, it has never been more important for brands to upgrade their packaging security.

 With this in mind, where do the next stages of innovation come from for pharmaceutical brands looking to enhance their product packaging? How can brands add to their existing security measures in a way that adds true value?

To support its customers in making this a reality, Essentra Packaging is collaborating with Crane Authentication and its next-generation Profound™ Micro-Optics solutions. 

Through strategic partnering between the two businesses, the pioneering anti-counterfeit technology developed by Crane will be made available on cartons and label designs from Essentra Packaging, unlocking a powerful tool for safety-conscious pharmaceutical brands. This historic partnership provides more for Essentra Packaging customers: more choice, more security, and more value. 

The visual technology developed by Crane provides a new way to address concerns around pharmaceutical product and patient safety, helping to protect brand reputation at a time when consumer trust is of upmost importance. 

Crane’s PROFOUND™ Micro-Optics features have their roots in the same technology used to protect some of the world’s most valuable banknotes from counterfeiting.  With no technical or visual similarity to commodity ‘holographic’ features, Crane Micro-Optics exhibit striking movement and strong three-dimensional effects that offer intuitive end-user verification at a glance. 

Adding security through visually striking effects, Crane’s technology can also be combined with other security technologies, such as coding and tamper evident labelling, a synergy and layering of functions that provides brands with exciting and flexible solutions. The technology offered by Essentra Packaging makes an ideal complementary solution for both new and existing packaging designs. 

In one unique solution, the technology offered by Essentra Packaging helps to secure every part of the supply chain, from brand manufacturer and secondary packaging supplier, through to channel distribution and most importantly, patient. 

By thinking smartly, intuitively and kinetically, the collaboration between Essentra Packaging and Crane Micro-optics provides an intelligent and premium solution for brands that put patient safety at the top of their agendas. The technology can be combined with existing security features to create a truly impressive pharma packaging experience. 

Essentra Packaging is the go-to name in pharmaceutical and health packaging, providing a range of cartons, labels and leaflets designed around the needs of brands and consumers alike. With an in-house design hub facility and multiple R&D centres in its network, Essentra Packaging supports pharmaceutical brands with the development, launch, supply and optimisation of high-performance secondary packaging solutions. 

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