Something for the weekend? may not be what you bargained for!

Posted in Branding, Business News, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Marketing, Product News, Safety, Tweets on January 25th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 9 Comments

A recent Los Angeles Times article examines how an increase in counterfeit condoms in China has health officials fearing the worst — the products “may in fact spread infectious diseases, tarnishing the axiom that condoms mean safe sex.”

The newspaper continues, “Authorities estimate that up to a third of the contraceptives used in some parts of China are counterfeits, despite improvements in state food and drug oversight. None of the counterfeits are properly sterilized, and others are of such inferior quality that they could rupture during use.”

The article details how authorities are attempting to track down what they estimate are more than one million condoms distributed throughout China, and notes how the knock-off condoms were uncovered in discount stores in New York, Texas and Virginia in 2008.

Thanks to @TheBodyGlobal for bringing our attention to this article via Twitter. More articles like this can be read at:

Sound Industry Advice to Assist Tylenol Wooden Pallet Issue

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Materials, Safety on January 21st, 2010 by Jane Bear – 8 Comments

Sterling Anthony has given some detailed technical advice we may all wish to consider for the palletisation of our products.  Annie Dallison

 It’s not an appealing topic, but it has grabbed recent headlines.

The Tylenol national recall—ongoing at the time of this article’s publication—is a reminder that wood pallets can be the source of packaging/product contamination. Such a capability is reason for brand owners to have in place a Pallet Purity Program (PPP).

Written by Sterling Anthony, CPP.  Published in 20th January 2010 to read the full article to follow this link

Life-saving packaging in Haiti

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Opinion, Safety on January 20th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 3 Comments

As we move into the second week following the Haitian earthquake, things have been fraught for the local population, most of whom have been without food, water, electricity, or a roof over their heads. During that period dead bodies have been piling up all over the place, including hospital car parks where medical supplies have been in short supply and many of the surgical operations that have been carried out, have been done without anaesthetic.

Medical, food & water supplies packaged to survive a harsh environment

Medical, food & water supplies packaged to survive a harsh environment

Although of no consolation to those that have perished over the past week, luckily the logistical situation is improving now that US ships have arrived and helicopters are finally getting to the places they are needed with those essential supplies. It is at times like this that we are reminded of the true worth of packaging,  in an environment where there are no fridges to keep things cool and packaging has to perform an even more essential role than normal in a very hostile environment. The packaging contains, avoiding spillage. It protects against crushing, vermin & pilfering. It preserves, providing protection for the products within and extended shelf life. It enables ease of transport, whether by plane, truck or onwards by hand and lastly it informs, providing vital information on contents, storage, dosage and application.

In summary, it provides a lifeline where, without it, medical supplies would arrive dirty and non-sterile, food would ’spoil’ within hours and water would become contaminated, leading to dysentery and further distress and trauma. So, packaging, where on earth would we be without it? Chris Penfold

Counterfeit Alli raising safety concerns.

Posted in Design, Healthcare & Pharma, Marketing, Safety on January 20th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 4 Comments

GSK were alerted to counterfeit products by customers.  On inspection of the packaging there was a number of inconsistencies between the authentic and fake packs the difference in the product however are more serious.

This is yet another counterfeit issue  raised, surely this case and others demonstrate the size of the  opportunities for the packaging industry to deliver smart and cost effective solutions.

Annie Dallison

FDA is warning consumers about counterfeit Alli reportedly sold over the Internet. Testing by manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has revealed that the fake products contain the controlled substance sibutramine, not contain orlistat, the active ingredient in its product. FDA warns that this fake version of Alli 60 mg capsules (120 count refill kit) could be harmful if used improperly.

Via PPM News 20th January 2010. You can read the full article by clicking:


Posted in Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Legal, Safety, Technology on January 7th, 2010 by Anne Dallison – 12 Comments


In the U.S.Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing battle against counterfeit drug products, the latest FDA guidance is aimed directly at packaging techniques.In a July guidance document to industry, the FDA set forth some suggestions for incorporating so called “physical-chemical identifiers” PCIDs into solid oral dosageform drug products and paid particular attention to those that might migrate from packaging or container labeling.The FDA defines a PCID as a product with some unique physical and or chemical characteristic that is added to the dosage form of a drug product and which “makes it possible to detect and authenticate legitimate dosage forms and identify counterfeits.”These so-called PCIDs can include inks, pigments, flavors, or molecular taggants, says the FDA. And the agency expects that many of them would be made of existing substances used in food additives, colorants, or drug products’ excipients.The FDA’s guidance document, entitled “Incorporation of Physical-Chemical Identifiers Into Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products For Anticounterfeiting,” is primarily concerned with helping drug makers and applicants for new drug approvals incorporate relevant information about their PCIDs into new drug applications, supplemental applications, and annual reports submitted to the FDA.The guidance does not attempt to address radio frequency identification RFID.Counterfeits have tended to be a bigger problem overseas than in the U.S., though it is a concern here, and not just when drugs are imported. The FDA has always recognized the importance of packaging technologies as potential solutions, including but not limited to RFID.Confirming the authenticity of any individual package of drugs, or, when possible, even an individual dosage, is the essence of thwarting counterfeits. In the complex distribution network through which drug products travel, opportunities abound to introduce counterfeit product into the mix.Counterfeits can come in many forms. For example, they might be products that are just imitations, and literally lack the right ingredients, or are out-of-date versions of the real thing, or are otherwise diverted from the ordinary authorized distribution pathways. It is a recognized phenomenon that authentic and appropriate products are often mixed with inauthentic counterfeits, meaning the confirmation of authenticity often involves measures going to the individual dosage level. Hence, ideas like PCIDs.As for PCIDs that are added to packaging or labeling of drug products in solid oral dosage form, the FDA makes specific recommendations on how to evaluate toxicological concerns and offers guidance on when and how to report or request approval of the addition of a PCID. The agency points out that, as expected, its “toxicological concerns are mitigated if the added substances is a permitted direct or indirect food additive,” or listed in the FDA’s Inactive Ingredient Guide.If the substance you want to use as a PCID in packaging is not the subject of known toxicological information, the packager should, says the FDA, determine that there won’t be migration of the substance into the products. If some interaction of the PCID with the product is expected, and toxicological concerns may result, the FDA suggests packagers contact the agency to discuss the issues. If the toxicology of the substance hasn’t been established, and the potential for its migration exists, the FDA says the drug product with that PCID in it would require a prior approval supplement before marketing.When it comes to PCIDs in solid oral dosage-form products, the FDA is hoping to help industry follow one of its key pieces of advice: Use a multifaceted approach to counterfeiting in order to stay at least one step ahead of counterfeiters.


Labelling Standards Proposed for Caffeine

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Opinion, Safety on January 5th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments

States News Service, 29th December 2009 via

(Relating to information released by the National Association of Convenience Stores in the US)

With the growing popularity of caffeinated foods and beverages – recent years have seen the introduction of caffeine-infused chewing gum, drinks and potato chips. The Los Angeles Times has reported that, due to health concerns, some health experts have proposed introducing labelling standards for caffeine.

It is believed that there is a need to educate consumers about caffeine’s effects on the body, which according to  James Lane, a professor of medical psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, can lead to problems such as attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

Personally I think that this is a sound initiative, being proposed for the right reasons, although it will inevitably lead to further problems of text fit onto already cramped packs. What do you think? Chris Penfold

You can read the full article at: The Packaging Digest

Cosmetics Directive amended to flag up hair dye allergy dangers

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Legal, Safety on November 3rd, 2009 by Jane Bear – 5 Comments

Does this apply to any of your products?  This new ruling comes into affect on the 18th November 2009 and all new products entering the market need to be compliant by November 2011. (Jane)

The European Commission has changed the labelling requirements for formulations that contain certain hair dye ingredients. Amendments to the Directive are in response to a conclusion from the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety SCCS previously known as the SCCP – Scientific Committee on Consumer Products that said contact allergies caused by hair dyes are an increasingly important health problem. These types of reactions can cause ‘acute and severe dermatitis’ in affected individuals, according to the SCCS. In an attempt to better inform the consumer of these dangers, the Commission has altered the warnings that must be included on the labels of oxidative hair dye products and some non-oxidative products that contain strong sensitising substances. 

via Cosmetics Directive amended to flag up hair dye allergy dangers.

Australia, NZ to review burden of food labelling laws

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Legal, Safety on October 26th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 5 Comments

Will be interesting to see what the result of this is -

Australia and New Zealand are to undertake a review of food labelling laws and policy to reduce the regulatory burden on food companies without compromising health and safety.

Requirements for information to appear on food labels in Australia and New Zealand are governed by the Food Standards Code. While there are certain elements that are required on all labels, such as product name, supplier details, use by dates and the presence of allergens, there are frequent demands for more elements to be included.

For more information just follow the link

Edible codes for cheese

Posted in Food Packaging, Innovation, Legal, Machinery, Safety, Technology on October 16th, 2009 by Anne Dallison – 10 Comments

Edible codes for cheese – not another cheesey story…

Het Kaasmerk BV in, Leiden, the Netherlands, is a manufacturer of assorted blocks of cheese. Kassmerk has been collaborating with Isotron Systems on the traceability and quality control of its cheese for some time.Isotron Systems is the distributor of Cognex vision and identification equipment in the Netherlands. Kassmerk adopted a Cognex DataMan 7500 system to read the codes marked on its individual blocks of cheese.The two-dimensional codes are applied early in the production process and need to be read at the end of production.The only bar-code identification equipment Kaasmerk could find that was capable of working with the blocks of cheese, despite Kaasmerk’s rigorous industrial environment, was the In-Sight Vision System and the DataMan 7500 reader, which are both from Cognex.Identification codes, such as a 2D code or data matrix, are not only applied to state-of-the-art technology products, they are also applied to food products.These codes are mandatory in Europe, and are also necessary for safeguarding of food quality during production. They help minimise food-safety risks after the production phase, because each end product can be individually traced back to the production lot.Passport to traceabilityThe ability to identify each individual cheese as a unique item in the production chain is an essential component. Actually applied to the cheese block itself, the code functions as a veritable passport.

via Edible codes for cheese.

2D data matrix trial goes live in pharmacies in Sweden

Posted in Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Opinion, Safety, Technology on September 22nd, 2009 by Anne Dallison – 3 Comments

Interesting piece of work – watch this space (Annie)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Going live – EFPIA pilot project makes debutIt was a rather soft launch in Sweden today, but an important moment for industry and patients.The EFPIA pilot project, testing a product verification system in pharmacy based on the use of a two-dimensional data-matrix went live today in Sweden. There was not an official ‘hard launch’ that will come, but earlier this morning three pharmacies began to use the system. Another 20+ will go live next week.

via EFPIA.