Your Plain Old Package: Unlock Its Built-in Brand Protection Capability

When serialization of drugs was first being considered for pharmaceuticals back in the mid-2000s, I recall that it seemed to rattle the traditional brand protection vendors who offered package-level authentication technologies.  They were more than a little worried that drug companies would end up using serial numbers in place of their more traditional offerings, like

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3 thoughts on “Your Plain Old Package: Unlock Its Built-in Brand Protection Capability”

  1. Thanks, Dirk, as usual a thought-provoking essay, this time on the “free” useful chaos already on every product 😉

    Previously I had heard about using a small area of a printed package as the target for a similar product authentication process, but the ability to use the already-required barcode that consumers can just take a photo using their smartphone is certainly beyond cost-effective!

    I had thought that it might be difficult to imagine the end users would be bothered to care enough to check a package, but as you said adding discount, “loyalty” rewards, etc could be a great incentive.

    Best Regards
    Darryl Zurn

    1. Darryl,
      Thanks, I agree. I have also always thought it was kind of laughable that anyone would expect patients in the United States to stay interested in scanning the 2D barcode on drugs just to check whether it is fake or not. The reason is that there would be so few actual fakes that most people would never know anyone who encountered one, so everyone would just not bother to check. So the way to get people to do it regularly is to offer incentives, and there is a wide range of incentives that would lead people to do it. Including simple discounts on future purchases, but also points toward iTunes, movie tickets, Amazon credits, etc. With the right program run properly, I think you could get a good percentage of your patients to scan the barcode.


  2. Glad to see you are continuing to publish.
    Stakeholders can benefit from serialization to help extend medication management to the true point of care. Some specialty drug products are costly, sensitive to environmental conditions, complicated to use and cause side effects which must be managed
    The Leavitt Partners conference last week provided an interesting set of hypothetical questions regarding medication management: What if someone stops taking their $84,000 course Sovaldi a few weeks into the regimen? Who is responsible for the cost? Who, other than the patient, is most incented to manage the treatment? Gilead? Who benefits from better control?

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