The “media enhanced packaging” technology adds invisible data to printed materials that, when “viewed” with a computer or mobile phone, calls up additional product information, advertisements and even editorial content.
Oregon, US-based Digimarc believes drug packaging is a particularly suitable application as, unlike 2D barcodes, the imperceptible data used by its technology does not take up space that can be otherw
Company VP of marketing Jeri Owen, said the platform will help “address the growing need for brands to build consumer preference and loyalty by delivering innovative new packaging solutions that simplify and enrich the lives of customers.”
This point was also stressed by Catalent Victor Dixon, who said the technology: “will uniquely position us to assist the pharmaceutical and consumer packaging industries to better inform and engage the consumers of their products.”
And, in a video on its website, the US contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) also suggested that “media enhanced packaging” could play a role in both product authentication and to assist in recalls.
Regulatory oversight required?
At present regulatory scrutiny of drug packaging focuses on either patient safety or technologies used to determine genuine pharmaceutical products from fakes as these are the big issues impacting the industry.
However, the increased use of MEP in drug packaging may place additional demands of organisations regulators as a result of the enormous range of information such technologies can hold.
It is conceivable, for example, that instructions on the correct use or administration of a drug could be included as video or audio messages using MEP which would certainly require some form of regulatory overview.