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Smart Packaging: The Next Big Thing in the Pharma Industry

The growth in the global pharmaceutical industry will be driven by safety concerns and the ability of products to fit in the loop of connectivity and communication. Smart labels, QR scanning, brand protection, and identification are some of the aspects that indicate that smart packaging industry needs to evolve constantly to serve all product-shipping business verticals, including pharmaceuticals.

One of the key challenges faced by pharma companies today involves the increasing cost of bringing new formulas into the market. In the case of generic medicines, competition is becoming fierce. Furthermore, companies in the sector are increasingly experiencing pharmaceutical logistics challenges such as shortcoming relating to drug expiry date management, counterfeiting issues that jeopardize quality of care, and product degradation and recalls. A lot of effort is being put in by players in the sector to re-design pharma value chain and turning these roadblocks in opportunities. Among the several advanced techniques used by pharma companies for enhancing performance, smart packaging has been a breakthrough. Smart packaging is an advanced packaging system that can monitor changes in a product or its environment and help pharma companies to act upon these changes. Sensor-equipped smart packaging in the pharma industry can help track a product along the supply chain to the end-user.

There is no doubt these are exciting times in the pharmaceutical industry with advanced techniques such as smart packaging underway. But is your business prepared to accommodate these trends? Request a free proposal to know how our experts can help you best prepare for the changing market trends.

Benefits of smart packaging in the pharma industry

smart packagingTemperature control

If medicines are not stored at the right temperature, it can not only lead to product damage but can also prove to be dangerous for consumption. With smart packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, it is now possible to create labels informing about a product’s temperature during the shipping process and storage. This helps doctors, pharmacists or patients to determine whether the drugs are safe to take or not.

Adhering to medication

Smart packaging for pharma products is a great way of reminding patients about adhering to the prescription. NFC tags used in smart packaging provide patients with enough information so that they know they are using the drug as intended. The information is often delivered in an interactive way on the patient’s smartphones, for instance via video.

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Stock control

Smart packaging will be beneficial for pharma companies to keep tabs on their stock and manage their inventory levels better. The sensors in smart packaging allows companies to check the stock level available with them and adjust the production and supply accordingly to prevent situations of understocking or overstocking.

Enhances clinical trials

Smart packaging solutions for clinical trials are largely focused on patient compliance and engagement. Sometimes, during a clinical trial, enrolled patients typically need to maintain records that document their drug administration. Many don’t take the time to do that real-time and, as a result, their data is subject to error. Smart packaging aims to avoid such errors by notifying the patients to take the medicine on time and recording the exact time that the medicine was consumed.

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Top Smart Packaging Companies in the World

“We’re moving towards a world where everything is smart, internet-connected, trackable, and linked to everything else” – Caspar Thykier



A decade ago, video wristwatches, self-driving cars, and smart milk cartons that order another liter of low-fat milk when their contents go out of date would have been nothing less than a sci-fi fueled vision. Today, the video wristwatch is here, and the self-driving car will soon be here. But as for the milk cartons, the implementation of smart packaging is still somewhat more marginal, for now at least. Smart packaging offers a number of extra functionalities in addition to the traditional three functions of packaging products (protection, containment, and communication). With changing lifestyles and consumers being more demanding, intelligent, and smart, packaging is more focused on several consumer benefits such as food quality, safety, freshness, and information rather than the specific retailer and manufacturer-driven benefits. And with this ground-breaking technology, the packaging industry can work wonders in the future. Here’s a look at the top smart packaging companies frRequest Free Proposalom around the world and what they are up to in terms of revamping packaging:


Blippar, which is based out of the UK, was founded in the year 2011. Blippar is the first markerless image-recognition platform for smartphones designed to convert real-world brands and products into digital experiences instantly. They allow shoppers to check the quality and origins of their food by merely scanning an item with the Blippar app. By scanning the products, shoppers can also access quality certificates, test results, location details, and images of the relevant farm, as well as nutritional information. This provides full supply-chain transparency from farm to fork.


Founded in 2014, Rover is headquartered in Canada. Rover’s platform enhances retailers’ mobile apps through contextual relevance. By leveraging the micro-location abilities of iBeacons, the platform understands when a shopper enters a store and which products they are looking at. An app enhanced with the Rover platform can engage shoppers at the time it matters most, simultaneously delivering relevant information throughout their shopping experience.

Insignia Technologies

Insignia Technologies is a Scotish firm that was founded in the year 2012. The company’s main product focus is on smart packaging for the food packaging industry. The color-changing indicator that the company uses on its packaging warns when the food starts to spoil by undergoing a dramatic and distinct color change. The patented smart pigments can be easily incorporated into plastic food packaging, creating color changing plastic films that will help minimize food wastage and ensure consumers know when food is fit for consumption.

Water.IO was founded in the year 2015. The company invents, patents, designs, and manufactures IoT smart-Packaging solutions for beverage, food, home, pharma, and beauty industries. Water.IO can transform any bottle into a smart container, including those used for beverages, prescription drugs, household cleaners, and more.


Repack is a company that is based out of Finland. It was founded in the year 2013. The company provides smart packaging solutions wherein the online retailers and shoppers conveniently and easily return delivery packages, which can then be reused. Currently, the company’s services are widely being used by retailers and shoppers in Finland. RePack users can return their packaging via the local postal system and get an automatic refund on their deposit.

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