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Technological Innovations in the Packaging and Labeling Industry

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By February 2019, serialization will be implemented across the EU. However, according to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DCSCA), there is a timetable in place until 2023 for electronic tracking on all drug products throughout the US supply chain. With these regulations due to take place soon, manufacturers will need to adapt their products with the latest serialization requirements whilst they still can. This article will review some of those serialization and technological appliances.

NFC and QR codes

Near-Field Communication (NFC) is when two electronic devices are connected within close range of each other. NFC has been in mobile phones since the early 2000s, but most recently they have been used in bank cards and various plastic materials. This means serialization can take place on packaging and labeling products.

The Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) have outlined that, throughout the EU by February 2019, it is compulsory for every pack to contain a QR code. These are presented as serial numbers and expiration dates so they can be tracked and traced. QR codes are also useful for manufacturers wanting to assemble identical products. This regulation was put in place to stop counterfeit medicines infiltrating the supply chain, and by the time most medicines are approved, the packaging will need to have QR codes.

Artificial Intelligence

There has been increasing investment in artificial intelligence (AI) for drug discovery by big pharma companies. The hope is for AI to one day replace people as candidates for safety concerns, to cut R&D costs and save time. Pharmaceutical companies are under immense pressure to stop counterfeit medicines from entering the supply chain, and AI could be the biggest solution to help test for faulty products.


Blockchain is a database which was introduced for cryptocurrency transactions. The purpose of blockchain is to stop cryptocurrencies being counterfeited, and this feature can be used for packaging and labeling products. Although many users have access and can add to the data, the information cannot be deleted. This means the product still contains the history of the previous transaction after changing hands, thus reducing delays, added costs, and human error.

Would you like to find out more about technology innovations in the Packaging and Labeling industry? This February, the Pharma Packaging and Labeling East Coast 2019 conference takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hear more about serialization, as well as AI, blockchain and NFC from Packaging and Labeling experts to ensure your designs are up to date with the latest trends. For more information, please visit http://www.arena-international.com/pharmapackagingeast or alternatively email us at: events@arena-international.com.

  • Company News
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  • Modified 30 Nov 2018
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