Beating the counterfeiters
Counterfeit drugs are a threat to consumers and manufacturer alike. Sagentia’s anti-counterfeiting technology – Latent Image Device – is attracting considerable interest: it’s inexpensive, easy to manufacture and use and, above all, difficult to replicate.
Counterfeit drugs pose an increasing threat, both to the consumer and the pharmaceutical industry. Major bodies, such as the FDA, now recommend that pharmaceuticals carry both overt and covert security devices to enable quick and easy proof of product authenticity. Our anti-counterfeiting technology – the Latent Image Device (LID) – is now attracting significant interest from pharmaceutical and other companies, who want security devices which are cheap, simple to manufacture and easy to use, but which even the most determined forger will find difficult to replicate.
LID is a peel-back labelling system that uses oxygen sensitive dyes to authenticate the origin of a drug or other packaged product. To activate, the consumer peels back the protective top film and the dyes beneath gradually develop to reveal a ‘hidden’, multi-coloured image, such as a logo or code.
LID exploits the properties of an unusual class of molecules known as Leuco dyes, initially colourless but which oxidise into bright colours on exposure to air. To create the security label, an image is printed on paper using Leuco dyes, and then immediately sealed between two barrier films to prevent exposure to the air.
The result could be in the form of a label, sleeve or seal, or even incorporated into the pack itself. Production is relatively simple, resulting in a security label which is not only extremely difficult to forge but which is as cheap to print as any other security device.
Since its introduction in 2002, the performance of LID has improved still further. Primarily, this has been due to the development and use of oxygen-scavenging film, which has extended the shelf life of the LID, making it far more robust. Ongoing development has also opened up a much wider range of applications such as security tags for tickets or vouchers, and even interactive ‘peel and reveal’ scratch cards, which would both ensure the validity of the card, and entertain the player.