​Tamper-evident - Metsä Board

Demand for authenticity challenges pharma packaging

​Alongside growing consumption, the need for authenticity is increasing in pharma packages. Pharma companies and consumers alike want to be sure that the medicine is legitimate – not a forgery and has not been tampered with. Tamper-evident features are a tool to ensure the safety of the packed product. 


​Tamper-evident features require a good quality board, and a high-quality packaging material is in itself a sign of authenticity. Metsä Board’s packaging design team has designed two samples highlighting different tamper-evident features for the pharma industry.

The importance of tamper-evident packaging

Fraud can be attempts to sabotage a brand, or a matter of selling a cheap copy off as a branded product. When a package is secured with tamper-evident features, it alerts the consumer of any interfering or contamination of the contents which may have taken place. The most obvious evidence of an opened packaging is a ripped lid.

"Tamper-evident packaging has a seal or structural element which breaks if the package is opened. You cannot replace the content without leaving a noticeable mark. There can also be different safety elements in packaging which are not so visible", tells Iiro Numminen, Structural Packaging Designer at Metsä Board.

The new samples showcase tamper-evident features

In order to demonstrate different tamper-evident features, Metsä Board’s packaging design team produced two samples using MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright folding boxboard. These two samples are protected in different ways. The first one has a structure that is designed to break when the product is opened. It features a lock buckle which falls apart and thus reveals if the product has been used or manipulated. 

The second sample contains a hologram security label, made by Finnish Starcke, ensuring that the package remains unopened until it reaches the consumer. For additional security, the hologram security label is a separate element that is applied onto the package. A security hologram is impossible to forge, making it an incredibly effective tamper evident element. 

As a packaging design professional, Numminen is always excited when he comes across new inventions in tamper-evident packaging design. "Sometimes, you can feel that the quality of the package is not good. For example, the packaging is lacking in fresh fibre strength, or the printing is not sharp. This means that the packaging could have been replaced with a copy", says Numminen. 

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