Fragmentation of the supply chain has created opportunities for adulteration but industry is starting to fight back. To reassure clients of the quality of its raw materials Avantor is adding tamper-evident outer packaging seals to its pharmaceutical ingredients containers.
“We are implementing our enhanced tamper-evident seals initiative to proactively meet the needs of drug manufacturers”, Paul Smaltz, Avantor executive vice president, pharmaceuticals and the Americas, said.
Speaking at the June Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Conference, co-hosted by the US Food and Drug Administration, Joe Woodward, global director of logistics and planning at Avantor said seals <span class="hiddenGrammarError" pre="">should be</span> standardised. The tamper-evident push will give packaging a consistent appearance worldwide.
Avantor outlined other aspects of its approach to tamper-evident seals in a white paper. “[Seals should be] uniquely identifiable, multilayer, and globally standardised. The customer should be prepared to review and inspect the seals every time product is received”, Avantor said.
Recommendations by Avantor are similar to the tamper evident device briefing document Rx-360 released in July. Supply chain consortium Rx-360 welcomed tamper-evident seals but warned that use of ineffective devices could give raw material suppliers and consumers a “false sense of security”.
“With the use of a well-designed tamper evident device, the strength of the security measure will be far greater than that of a poorly designed or unsuitable tamper evident device”, Rx-360 said in its briefing document.
A device needs a distinct design, such as a break-away cap, which uses materials that would be very difficult for a counterfeiter to source, Rx-360 said. Unique identifying characteristics, for instance a logo, which are difficult to fake or steal, are also needed.
Avantor is one of 25 suppliers that are members of Rx-360.