Packaging Trends

Security driven packaging trends for the pharmaceutical industry

3 mins

Drug safety is a huge concern for the pharmaceutical industry, it always has been, and it always will be. But over recent years, the growing rise in ecommerce has caused even more concern for the safety of consumers.

Although an upsurge in the accessibility of pharmaceuticals is a step forward for such a critical market, there comes one major drawback – the increased possibilities for tampering and counterfeiting.

Not only does this pose more risk for the health of consumers, but can negatively affect brand reputation too. Fortunately, developments in the packaging industry allow pharmaceutical companies to implement solutions that better protect their products, consumers, and brand identity. How? We explore exactly that here.

Read on as we discover security driven packaging for the pharmaceutical industry.

Tamper evident packaging for pharmaceuticals

Tampering can be made evident through overt security features. From the use of tamper evident tapes, to bespoke cartons and shrink bands, there are several scalable and cost-effective systems designed to highlight tampering.

Tamper evident tapes

Using tamper-evident tapes to seal boxes, mailing bags, and other types of pharmaceutical packaging is a great way to deter people from getting into your package during transit.

Gummed paper tape, reinforced paper machine tape, and tamper-evident void tape all provide exceptional tamper evidence for your package. But how do they differ?

When applied, gummed paper tape and reinforced paper machine tape create a permanent bond with the package. This means any attempt to separate the tape from the outer-packaging leaves visible and obvious evidence in the form of damage - We explain the rest of the differences in our ultimate guide to gummed paper tape.

So, what about tamper evident void tape? After it’s been applied to your package, removal will cause the tape to self-destruct, leaving behind a permanent adhesive layer with a message. This could be ‘VOID’ or ‘opened – a strong indicator for the receiver to take action.

Tamper-evident cartons

For medicines/drugs of high importance or value, tamper-evident cartons provide that extra layer of tamper-evidence and security. Impossible to open without causing damage, tamper-evident cartons are extremely effective and can be designed specifically to your product.


Brands can use hologram techniques on their logo to indicate authenticity. If the hologram isn’t there, or doesn’t appear as expected, the package could have been tampered with, or even substituted. Wear and tear on the hologram can also indicate rough handling or incorrect storage.

Shrink bands

Shrink bands can be applied around the cap, neck, or cover of a container using a heat gun. If removed or damaged from the product before arrival, this could suggest tampering during the delivery process.

Digitalisation in pharmaceutical packaging

The pharmaceutical industry is beginning to adopt technology to help combat counterfeiting and introduce efficient supply chain tracking. Digitalisation refers to the process of converting information into a computer-readable format, which can be accessed upon arrival.

Technology such as security graphics and digital watermarks can also be applied to your package. This includes infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) pigments, microtext and microscopic tagging, which is invisible to the naked eye.

Digital watermarks require specialist software to verify, while security graphics provide a fine print similar to security features used in bank notes.

In short, once applied to your package, digital security features are near impossible to replicate.

Pharmaceutical packaging from Swiftpak

At Swiftpak, we specialise in the supplying the pharmaceutical market with industry-leading packaging solutions. We understand the importance of security in your sector and use over 40 years’ experience with key industry players to recommend the very best solution for your pharmaceutical or medical product. Speak to our expert team today and find out how Swiftpak could revolutionise your packaging solution.