Catalent enhanced packaging requires content discretion

Catalent Pharma will begin providing so-called media-enhanced packaging to its drugmaker clients. The packaging contains coding by which consumers can connect via smart phone to product content in addition to what they can already see on a drug's label, printed packaging and inserts.

The manufacturing and packaging contractor sees the technology as a way to give clients' products a leg up on crowded retail shelves. The sophisticated packaging, which Catalent has licensed from digital-ID solutions provider Digimarc, aims to "better inform and engage consumers," according to an announcement.

Digimarc software enables a smart phone camera to detect digital data that has been embedded into printed materials. The digital coding requires no space on packages, giving it an advantage over 2D barcodes. It's also imperceptible to human senses, but readily grabbed hold of by computers, smart phones, and other mobile digital devices.

Drugmakers may want to proceed with caution regarding the type of content they provide via media-enhanced packaging. More of the same kind of information found on labels and inserts is not necessarily a good thing. As Annette Horner of consultancy Compliance Implementation Services points out in our "Expert Tips for REMS Success" report, traditional medicine labeling and package inserts are "increasingly being proven ineffective and they must often be supplemented with more effective communication methods."

- here's the Catalent release