As always, Interphex offered a great chance to study new pharmaceutical packaging concepts and packaging machines such as those designed to thwart counterfeiting, to protect against moisture and oxygen exposure, and to improve distribution.
Counterfeit preventionAnticounterfeiting measures can be divided into two categories: overt and covert. Overt measures include color-shifting inks, optically variable devices, holograms, thermochromic ink or glue, and tamper-evident security seals. Covert measures include taggants and biomolecular markers, digital watermarks, microprinting, invisible graphics printed with UV- or IR-sensitive ink, antitheft devices, and security substrates. Coding schemas such as mass serialization and consecutive numbering also play a role. Experts recommend using a combination of features to achieve the best protection against counterfeiting.
For labels, a multilayer approach includes adhesive colorants, tinting agents, marker dyes, color-shifting pigments, magnetic microwire, and proprietary markers (secure label solutions, Acucote, Inc., Graham, NC, http://www.acucote.com/).
Precisely positioned nanoclusters of metal particles on a highly reflective substrate make it possible to produce two- or three-phase color-shift labels that offer visible and machine-readable color shifts that are exclusive to a product or company. The metal clusters modify light waves as they enter the film. Optics within the film further alter the light as waves bounce back from a reflective layer ("Color Spectra," DuPont, Wilmington, DE, http://www2.dupont.com/packaging/en_US).