Legal

Intro to Pharma Packaging Course – 6th November 2014

Posted in Anti-Counterfeiting, Design, Design Cognition News, Events, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Legal, Marketing, Materials, Medical Devices, Safety, Technology, Training on September 8th, 2014 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment

pharmacyWe are proud to announce and updated and improved one day intensive training course on pharma packaging for 2014!

Pharmaceutical packaging is a very specialised area with its own unique issues and problems. This introductory course will provide delegates with a good basic grounding and appreciation of what is required for the packaging of pharmaceutical and healthcare products – both Prescription Only Medicines (POM) and Over The Counter (OTC) and will have relevance in other affiliated areas such as Veterinary and, to some extent, Medical Devices too.

Whether you know nothing or have a basic understanding, this course will provide you with useful knowledge and insights from experts who have worked in the industry for over 25 years.

For more information – Follow this link to our Training Page to download a PDF flyer

Bar Coding & Mass Serialisation Course -14th October 2014

Posted in Anti-Counterfeiting, Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Design Cognition News, Events, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Interactive, Legal, Marketing, Medical Devices, Retailers, Technology, Training on September 1st, 2014 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment

Bar Code ScanThe first of our new series of packaging training courses has arrived……….

Barcoding, traditionally a means of stock control, is evolving and increasingly being used in more imaginative ways in areas of packaging such as marketing, anti-counterfeiting and mass-serialisation!

To help keep you up-to-date with these innovations, Design Cognition are proud to announce that we have now partnered with the world leading barcode verification solution provider Axicon to bring you this interactive workshop

This one day course will provide a really practical hands-on view of a wide range of barcodes and their packaging applications. It will include demonstrations of the verification equipment in use and your chance to use it yourselves.

We will cover EAN, 2D Data matrix, QR codes, Aztec codes and others.

So whether you just need to understand the basics, or are looking for other insights into this exciting and evolving area of packaging technology and ideas on how you can use them in the wider business context, this course is for you!

For more information – Follow this link to our Training Page to download a PDF flyer

Anti-counterfeiting packaging extravaganza – Design Cognition @ easyFairs

Posted in Design, Events, Exhibitions, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Legal, Medical Devices, Safety, Technology on January 11th, 2012 by Chris Penfold – 12 Comments
easyFairs Packaging Innovations Show

easyFairs Packaging Innovations Show

Anti-Counterfeiting in the pharma industry – Latest Packaging Trends & Technologies

easyFairs, the trade show specialists, are launching a new pharmaceutical workshop which will be making its debut at the easyFairs  packaging shows @ NEC, Birmingham, UK this February. The event will be organised and delivered by Design Cognition and an array of experts from the anti-counterfeiting & packaging industries.

The new ‘Pharma counterfeiting workshop’ will help delegates identify the key issues, and look at emerging packaging trends and technologies, including all sorts of overt (visible) solutions such as holograms and covert (hidden) solutions including various printing, coating and forensic technologies.

Leading thinkers and experts in the industry, will provide an unbiased and independent overview to help attendees see the ‘wood from the trees’. Taking place on 29 February (9.30am – 1.30pm) the workshop is being billed as one of the main highlights of the easyFairs event, which last year attracted over 4,500 visitors.

Amongst the speakers, Anne Dallison, Fellow of the Packaging Society and CTO at Design Cognition commented: “In a dynamic market, as well as providing a fantastic opportunity to get the latest perspective from industry experts such as the MHRA & PAGB on packaging implications of legislation such as the Falsified Medicines Directive and what it could mean for Brand Owners, this workshop will also provide an unrivalled and cost-effective means of networking with industry peers and leading-edge experts from the world of anti-counterfeiting. So if you want to stay one step ahead – you can’t afford to miss this!”

Also speaking at the show will be Jeremy Plimmer, Editor/Publisher at Product & Image Security Foundation and Chairman of West Midlands Packaging Society, who will be focusing on ‘Security Packaging – Is it a necessity or unnecessary expense.’  James Bevan, Director at Vandagraf and Agent for NetEnforcers in Europe will be looking at Internet Security and how to catch the fakers and identify fake sites.

Counterfeiting of products and packaging has become a multi-billion business, toys, dietary supplements, wine and iPhones are among the tens of thousands of counterfeit items seized every year. The speakers will bring the topics to life with real-life, hands-on examples and are encouraging delegates to bring their own packs along for a free counterfeit – audit, which can be conducted separately in a confidential environment if necessary.

Matt Benyon, Managing Director at easyFairs, comments: “Fake goods are certainly big business, especially in all this economic gloom. Intellectual property crime is estimated to be worth around £1.3bn in the UK each year and the Anti-Counterfeiting group, estimate that 12% of toys for sale in the UK are fakes. With ‘fake’ goods being such a hot topic we saw the importance of providing a comprehensive workshop concentrating just on this area, it is vital that packaging companies  help protect brands and retailers against counterfeiting with holograms or covert printing solutions.”

If you are interested in attending the Anti-Counterfeiting workshop you can register for the event here: Online Registration Form

Or for further information and a full list of speakers please contact Chris Penfold, CEO of Design Cognition, on +44 (0)115 846 1914 or email chris@designcognition.com

Delegate Fee: £149 – Fee includes full set of course documentation as well as refreshments and lunch. Places are limited and expected to go very quickly, so book early to avoid any disappointment.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Packaging serialisation of pharmaceuticals gains pace in Brazil

Posted in Branding, Design, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Opinion, Technology on November 22nd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 15 Comments
Brazil’s law requiring serialisation for pharmaceuticals gains pace

Brazil’s law requiring serialisation for pharmaceuticals gains pace

At Design Cognition we believe that the following legislation will have a major impact on any pharmaceutical company manufacturing and/or selling medicinal products in Brazil. In a major drive to eliminate counterfeited medicinal products; unique labels are to be supplied by the Brazilian Government’s ‘National Mint’ for medicines registered with the Brazilian Authorities.

All medicines will be required to have labels applied to their packaging before January 15th 2012. It will be illegal to sell products without these labels in place. Pharmacies throughout Brazil will have label readers installed to verify the labels on the products in time for this deadline.

This initiative is far more controlled and constraining than other anti-counterfeit measures put in place by Governments in other country, for example in France, where 2D data matrix codes are to be incorporated on all medicines by the end of this year.

The  introduction of this legislation, although delayed from June, has taken a ‘new turn’ recently, as emphasised in September by Peter Schmitt of Montesino Associates, who provided an update on the impending law in the live Webcast, “Update: Brazil Law 11.903—An “Emerging” Regulation for Traceability & Serialization.”

ANVISA is the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency and was established in 1999. The law and the original ANVISA guidelines detailed a program of serialized code in 2-D Data Matrix format on a security label printed by the national mint that was to be rolled out in June 2010. Subsequent ANVISA announcements delayed the timeline, but in November, ANVISA indicated that it will require all pharmaceuticals sold in Brazil to comply with its program by January 2012.

On November 3, ANVISA posted a Normative Instruction to the Daily Journal (Brazil’s equivalent to the United States’s Federal Register) detailing its decision to move forward with the self-adhesive security labels supplied by the Brazilian Mint (known by its Portuguese initials: CMB-Casa da Moeda). According to Schmitt’s translation, ANVISA states in the Instruction that “the self-adhesive labels shall contain an individual, unique, and non-repetitive identifier, called the IUM (Brazilian Initials for Unique Drug Identifier), printed in legible characters, and consisting of a two dimensional bar code. . . . The other specifications of self-adhesive labels are the responsibility of the Mint of Brazil and will be published by that entity.”

The self-adhesive labels, often called “Safety Labels” or “Stamps” by ANVISA, “will be supplied by the CMB to each company with drug registration in Brazil, regularized with ANVISA.”

The labels will feature an “invisible marker” for authentication that can only be recognized by the special readers. Measuring 19 × 25 mm, the labels will feature “micro fibers and coloured beads visible only under ultraviolet light” along with “micro cuttings to protect against attempted tampering,” Schmitt reports.

Over the next seven months, ANVISA will be supplying readers to pharmacies at no cost to them, which will enable them to authenticate the labels.

“Data from the security labels will be connected via the IUM and Brazil’s Electronic Invoice system and will be the responsibility of the Treasury Secretary of Brazil,” Schmitt explains.

“Pharmaceutical companies have 60 days to enroll in the program (not to implement) by signing a contract with the CMB,” Schmitt adds. “Shipment of the labels to the pharmaceutical company must begin within 60 days after the contract has been signed.”

Companies will have six months to start using the label for products produced in Brazil and 12 months for products imported into Brazil, Schmitt reports. After January 15, 2012, all pharmaceutical products sold in Brazil are required to have the safety label on their packaging.

Watch this space for further updates. You can read other pharmaceutical & healthcare-based packaging articles by following this link to Design Cognition Pharmaceutical Posts

Or follow this one to read the full Brazilian serialisation PMPNews article

Chris  Penfold

Another ban for BPA

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Legal, Materials, Safety on April 1st, 2010 by Jane Bear – 12 Comments

And so this story rumbles on with another country banning the use of BPA in certain products.  If you’ve still got products that might be affected by a similar ban in another country then you really need to be looking to change very soon, after all, who knows who will be the next country to join the ban. (Jane Bear)

Denmark has introduced a temporary ban on bisphenol A (BPA) in all food contact materials for young children amid fears the chemical could inhibit brain development.

Thanks Beverage Daily for highlighting this ban, to see their full article just follow this link  – Beverage Daily

DAY 10 – Packaging Tip No10 – IP protection?

Posted in Design, Innovation, Legal, Opinion, Technology, Top 10 Tips, Uncategorized on March 17th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments
Packaging Top Ten Tips

Packaging Top Ten Tips

In order to help you develop your packaging more productively, we have generated a series of  FREE short 1-2 minute videos detailing our Tip Ten Tips for getting it right. We will be posting 1 x video per day on this blog site over a 10 day period – so keep a look out for them – they could save you a £££$$$ fortune in the long run!

DAY 10 – Tip No 10: There are many types of protection that you can implement to help protect your pack style, shape,colours, branding , logos or layout…but what’s the best approach? Watch the video to find out….

Have fun packaging. Cheers Chris

Today’s Video:

Packaging Tip No 10 – IP protection – by Chris Penfold – Design Cognition

Look out tomorrow for the final part in our series – a conclusion & a chance to download ALL 10 Tips in 1 x 10 minute video…..

DAY 8 – Packaging Tip No8 – Information & communication

Posted in Branding, Design, Legal, Opinion, Safety, Top 10 Tips, Uncategorized on March 15th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 8 Comments
Packaging Top Ten Tips

Packaging Top Ten Tips

In order to help you develop your packaging more productively, we have generated a series of  FREE short 1-2 minute videos detailing our Tip Ten Tips for getting it right. We will be posting 1 x video per day on this blog site over a 10 day period – so keep a look out for them – they could save you a £££$$$ fortune in the long run!

DAY 8 – Tip No8: I don’t need to tell you how important branding is on a pack, do I?. Get it wrong and you’ve got a ‘dead duck’ on your hands! But wording on packs performs many functions. There are many legal requirements & you must be able to substantiate any claim you make. Aesthetically the wording & graphics must work in harmony. Incorrect wording is the most common reason for product recalls, which can cost a producer many £000’s. Find out more on the video….

Have fun packaging. Cheers Chris

Today’s Video:

Packaging Tip No8 – Information & communication – by Chris Penfold – Design Cognition

Look out tomorrow for Tip No 9 – Cost minimisation…..

Pharmaceutical packaging – celebration of success – foundation for the future

Posted in Associations, Design, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Machinery, Materials, Opinion, Safety, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on March 11th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 11 Comments
Blister Packaging

Blister Packaging

The following article is one that I’ve recently written for the Packaging Professional magazine, which details a fascinating 25 year transformation in the way we work and do business in the pharmaceutical packaging industry. Over that period the industry itself has undergone huge change and with recent economic pressures and the rise of generic competition is likely to continue unabated.

Back in the 1980’s, before the days of email and the internet, working in packaging could sometimes be a lonely business, especially in an area like pharmaceuticals where regulatory requirements, standards and process were constantly being updated as authorities, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines Control Agency (MCA), evolved  increasing powers and rules. A situation where ‘fit for purpose’ packaging could be a matter of life and death.

Pharma companies are strictly regulated and need to work to tight and common standards and most companies were running similar, machinery, quality systems and packaging materials. So learnings from one company could greatly help another and save having to ‘reinvent the wheel’. It was also important for the industry to provide a collective view to positively influence proposed legislation and regulations, with a common and pragmatic ‘voice’.

So back in 1984, the ‘seed’ of an idea for a group was ‘sown’ by Alan Haskins of Roussel Laboratories and Roy Gray of ICI Pharmaceuticals, after Roy’s boss had visited the USA and seen a successful American group working in the same sector. This was a defining moment and the group would not have happened without their collective vision and proactive approach. The first Pharmaceutical Common Interest Group (PCIG) meeting took place on 16th October 1984 at Sysonby Lodge, which was the head office of The Institute of Packaging (IOP) at the time). The meeting was chaired by Alan Haskins, with Roy Gray as Secretary and an attendance of 18 people from 15 pharmaceutical companies from across the industry. There were 37 questions raised & discussed at that meeting on a range of topics, including: a New British Standard for aluminium flexible tubes, label adhesives, Tamper Evidence and EAN bar codes – themes that would arise again and again over the years.

It was agreed that there would be three meetings per year and venues would rotate across the various company sites, but over the years most were actually hosted by the IOP.

One of the original members, Mike Shorten, who worked for Boots Pharmaceuticals at the time and is now retired, recalls:

“The PCIG soon became my most important network. Forty pharmaceutical practitioners across all sectors of the industry provided a powerful resource that could offer practical experience about most issues and without any consultants’ fees! A great strength of the group was the willingness of its members to talk openly about issues and share best practice and then to collectively influence new regulations and standards”

How the CIG has changed over the years

I have myself have been a member of the group for over 18 years (since 1991) and over that time can recall a great deal of camaraderie, focused help for each other and pragmatism having helped us all deal with issues as diverse as use of high barrier blister materials, bar coding issues and leeching of preservative through polyethylene bottles.

As issues became apparent, some common themes evolved and a number of dedicated ‘sub groups’ were set up to focus on specific topics. Four of these were Working Groups for Digital Artwork & Reprographics (DAR), Validation, Child Resistance and Quality Standards. The DAR subgroup was set up at a time when ‘desktop publishing’ was a buzz word being used as artwork generation moved from ‘old fashioned’ layout board, to a digitised computerised system.  At the time there was no common standard. There was a range of hardware (PC & Mac based), a number of operating systems, and various artwork creative software packages on each platform. The ease by which artwork could be generated and manipulated raised its own issues in terms of artwork version control and (in the early days) data going ‘missing’ sometimes between approval and print – which had the potential to cause a catastrophic result. So the group played a critical role in sharing ‘best practice’ and setting appropriate standards.

The Validation subgroup was formed in 1992, the founding Chairman being Mike Harwood of The Wellcome Foundation, Dartford. A subsequent Chairman (1993-98) John Cooper (of Pfizer at the time) recalls “The original intent was to develop a set of guidelines for validating pharmaceutical packaging equipment and then issue to IOP members, but as the guideline developed and the information was shared informally with machine manufacturers it became obvious that it would be of a wider benefit to publish a ‘book’. As I was a member both of the PCIG and Institute of Quality Assurance Pharma Quality Group (IQA PQG), I suggested that this was published jointly as a monograph in the series which was already established by the PQG. The monograph was published in 1998 and launched at a joint meeting of PCIG and PQG at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Lambeth with over 200 people in attendance, including the MCA Head of Inspection and Enforcement, Gordon Munro!” That was another defining moment in the ‘life’ of the PCIG and evidence of the esteem with which the group was held within the pharmaceutical industry. The third edition of that monograph is presently due for print.

It was not uncommon in the early days for PCIG meeting attendance to be around 35-40 people, with standing room only. Questions would be collated by the Secretary and shared at each meeting. It would sometimes take 3 or 4 hours to go through them all, one-by-one. As the years have gone by and we have moved in to a digital age, email has enabled members to converse more easily and questions can be asked and answered sometimes within minutes. So the focus and frequency of face-to-face meetings changed to providing more of an opportunity for discussing in more depth, processes, procedures, technology and impending legislation, and to keep in touch with old colleagues and friends. Together with the myriad of mergers among the pharma companies, this has meant attendances have dropped.

Where we are going with it in future
The PCIG (now called the Pharmaceutical Packaging Forum – PPF) is still active, with a core of ‘stalwart’ members and a new voluntary Secretary, David Pethick, former Director of Packaging Development at GSK. David is upbeat about future for the group and says “the pharma landscape, increasing demands and changing regulations on packaging present as much, if not more of, a challenge as when the PCIG was first established. I see both a need and role for a vibrant PCIG to help the pharma packaging professional meet those challenges, whether that be from simply providing networking among its members, to wider influencing, technical leadership, training needs or whatever”.

Pharma packaging legislation/regulation has changed enormously, and the Society recently received an enquiry about training courses on this. Feedback from PCIG members showed a high level of similar interest. Whether or not such a course could be developed is still a work in progress, but both David (for PPF) and Ian Morris, Training Manager at IOM3, would be interested in readers’ feedback.

Ultimately, the future and utility of PCIG, as over its past history, is reliant on the members who actively value and contribute to it.

Chris Penfold

If you work in Pharma and are interested in knowing more or in joining the PPF group, you can contact David Pethick (the Secretary) at dppk@btinternet .

On my own part (Chris), as well as continuing to be an active member of the PPF and a consultant, I am also the External Relations Officer of the East Midlands Packaging Society, for which you can find more information at: East Midlands Packaging Society.

You can find more help and advice on various aspects of pharmaceutical packaging at our sister site: The Pharma Gateway

French to make environmental labelling compulsory

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Environmental Issues, Legal on January 28th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 18 Comments

This appears to be coming as a surprise but the French government seem very keen on bringing environmental labelling on packaging into force by January 2011, that’s only 11 months away now, so not much time to implement any changes to existing product packaging. 

Whilst I understand the motives behind the French move and admire them for trying to make a difference I’m not sure this is the best way to encourage manufacturers to lower their environmental impact, I’d be interested to hear your opinions. (Jane Bear)

Interesting article  – within the Grenelle Law for the environment, the French government would like to make the labelling of a number of environmental indicators on certain products a legal requirement from January 2011.  For the full article visit cosmeticsdesign-europe

The clock is ticking – is your pharma packaging compliant?

Posted in Business News, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Opinion, Safety on January 28th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 8 Comments

As we hurtle towards the end of January (already you say????) it is time to focus the mind again on packaging legislation.

We are routinely coming across pharma companies (small & large) who just don’t keep up with or monitor changes in packaging legislation, that will have a major impact on their businesses.

A good example is Braille legislation which is now MANDATORY for ALL pharma packs sold in Europe and has to be in place (i.e. on packs on the market) within the next 7 MONTHS.

As a consequence of non-compliance, an estimated 20% of pharma companies could have their products de-listed and taken off the market. So why do companies ignore it?

The following link will take you to a very interesting and comprehensive article on the European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer (EPM) magazine website: Braille labelling on medicines packaging

This article will give you some good tips on how to ensure that you comply and a summary of it has been printed in the latest version of the EPM printed magazine. Chris Penfold