Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 17
F E AT U R E
Overt, covert and e-labels
trace products, and thus indicate
gray market activities.
All functional components
can be customized and combined
with each other. This results
in complex security labels that
effectively put a stop to the
counterfeiters' game and offer a
wide range of added value to the
Hu man Vi si ble , O ve rt
Overt features enable fast
authentication by sellers,
pharmacists and consumers
without any extra tools. Optically
variable holograms, for instance,
are based on microscopically Ideally, authenticity features should be selected so that consumers and specialists are involved in the
small, diffractive structures in authentication process.
the film layers, which make the
authentication. These robust and colorless markers can be
feature unique and thus achieve a high level of counterfeiting
invisibly incorporated into any design and implemented
protection. Pharmaceutical manufacturers increasingly
using diverse techniques. A customized formulation with
complement this feature by security color-shifting inks.
an invisible "fingerprint" represents the highest level of
Providers of professional solutions rely on specialty inks
counterfeiting protection, as it can neither be seen, copied
that may only be used by security printing companies.
Manufacturers achieve a particularly high protection level
Digital security features use computer-generated and
by combining these color effects with special printing
highly encrypted encodings as human-readable numbers,
techniques, "latent images" or thermo-reactive inks.
2D codes or special random patterns to enable internetbased authentication in the pharmaceutical supply chain
Machine Visible, Covert Features
all the way to the end user. In addition, digital technologies
Ideally, holistic counterfeiting protection should always
offer direct interaction between the product and the
consist of a combination of overt security features with
person performing the check, and can thus serve to provide
digital and covert technologies.
information and to support promotional activities.
Covert features are especially important for checking
However, due to the possibility of copying them,
suspect products, for complaints and final legal proof. For
numbers and encodings alone are not counterfeit-proof.
this purpose, manufacturers integrate special molecules
Companies should therefore always combine them with
and pigments into the packaging or label. Only a special
additional features. Copy protection patterns, for instance,
detector can prove the presence of these pigments during
06.2018 / Visit our website at www.PharmaceuticalCommerce.com / 17