Pharmaceutical Label Trends

The stringent safety and compliance standards outlined by the pharmaceutical industry means that label manufacture can be quite complex. Label companies are constantly having to research new techniques and products to keep up with regulations, while also incorporating emerging trends into the design. Here are some interesting pharmaceutical label trends you can expect to see in 2019.

Pharmaceutical labels

Smart labels

One pharmaceutical label trend that will continue to gain momentum is the use of smart labelling technology, specifically in terms of radio frequency identification (RFID) and near field communication (NFC) tags. These allow manufacturers to both track their products and engage with patients.

Read more: Label Trends for 2019


Replacing the typical barcode that has been used for years, RFID tags allow for incredibly quick identification of packaged products – a whole truckload worth in fact. Once the product has been identified, using an RFID reader, the data is uploaded and integrated into data management software.

RFID labelNFC tags

The cumbersome act of reading through a paper instruction leaflet which quickly becomes crumpled or partially destroyed by spilled medicine is soon to be a thing of the past. NFC labels allow customers to access dosage and usage information from the manufacturer’s cloud server, simply by scanning the label with their smartphones.

smart labels2Low migrations for plastics

There is a big move over to plastic bottles and vials which means pharmaceutical labels have to take the migration of adhesive components into account. The chemical composition of pharmaceutical labels is constantly being monitored to ensure a very low migration of components through the packaging and into the product.


When it comes to packaging and labels, sustainability will continue to be a major determinant for both consumers and manufacturers. Waste reduction will see pharmaceutical labels increasing the amount of product information to reduce the need for enhanced packaging. The use of the aforementioned smart labels will also work to protect the environment.

Read more: Eco-friendly label trends

Hang tabs or multi-page labels

Touching on the need to reduce packaging is the incorporation of hang tabs or multi-page labels to reduce packaging. Although this is not quite as sustainable as smart labels, multi-tabs allow manufacturers to get a lot of information in a reduced space.

hang tabAnti-counterfeiting

To prevent the transfer of authentic pharmaceutical labels onto counterfeit products, label makers have to be ahead of the game. This is why there are ever-improving anti-counterfeiting label techniques being used such as the creation of special characteristics for the base material and adhesive. In addition, label manufacturers use elements such as special inks, coatings , watermarks and varnishings. In 2019, pharmaceutical labels will continue to advance in anti-counterfeit techniques.

Read more: Designing the perfect label

Essentially one of the biggest propellers of trends in the pharmaceutical label industry is the protection of sensitive information and – therefore – prevention of counterfeits. By sourcing pharmaceutical labels produced by a reputable manufacturer, pharmaceutical companies can be assured of product safety all the way to the client.

Rebsons Labels is a leading supplier of labels in South Africa and produce self-adhesive labels for local and international clientele from various industries. For the highest quality label manufacturing for your product through either digital label printing or traditional label printing contact Rebsons Labels today to discuss your needs.

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