Pharma & Medical

Accurate brand colors help stem drug counterfeiting

Posted: March 5, 2012 by
Linda Casey

The World Health Organization currently estimates 10% of all pharmaceuticals in the global supply chain are counterfeit. Given the health and financial impacts of counterfeit drugs, protecting brand identity for pharmaceuticals is critical and brand color is integral to that objective. “For pharmaceuticals, even the slightest variation in package color could make the product suspect,” says Jon Drennan, operations director at the Leicester facility for package printer Chesapeake.

Drennan and his team at Chesapeake turned to Pantone and Sun Branding Solutions to help them bring consistency and control across all the materials in the production process and make certain that brand colors were right every time, on every possible packaging material.

“Our goal was to create a digital palette of all the ink colors we use in our printing,” says Drennan. “We wanted to build a set of data that would represent a given color and use that data to recreate the color exactly the same every time, regardless of substrate.”

Chesapeake adopted the PantoneLIVE cloud-based color management system to digitize every color Chesapeake uses over a 18-month period. Better consistency with fewer colors.

Improvement in color consistency has been dramatic. While the accepted industry standard for color deviation, or ∆E, averages around 4, Chesapeake’s target is an entire palette produced at no more than 2∆E. Chesapeake is achieving output that beats the industry color deviation with a 1.5∆E and in some cases less than 1∆E.