Pressure-sensitive Adhesive Expands Label Functionality

Posted on 1/24/2017 11:20:52 AM By Hallie Forcinio

Pressure-sensitive (P-S) adhesive is literally the “glue” that makes it possible for labels to perform beyond their traditional shelf impact and informational roles. Labels for pharmaceutical products provide good examples of this added functionality.

So it’s no surprise that use of pressure-sensitive labels is enjoying steady growth. In fact, in North America the pressure-sensitive labels market is expanding about 3.2 percent per year, according to 2013-2017 PSA in North America Market Report, a study published by The Adhesive and Sealant Council.

A Hanger Info Label from Germany’s August Faller shows why pressure-sensitive technology, particularly peel/reseal capability, is so appealing for pharmaceutical labeling. 

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The hanger label for infusion bottles ensures complete and uniform emptying, streamlines documentation and provides space for instructions in multiple languages. Quick, hygienic and easy to use, it won a German Packaging Award in 2014 and a WorldStar Award in 2016 in an international competition sponsored by the World Packaging Organisation.

To hang an infusion, a portion of the label is peeled away and the resulting loop is twisted to align the bottle vertically for consistent and complete draining. Previous label designs reportedly could not achieve completely vertical alignment and traditional metal holders are labor-intensive. According to a survey of intensive care nurses, “Inserting infusion bottles into a metal holding frame was considered to be too time-consuming, and the metal holders also have to be regularly disinfected,” reports Frank Ehling, inventor of the Hanger Info Label and label developer at Faller’s research and development center in Schopfheim, Germany.

The Hanger Info Label also expedites documentation and reduces errors. Instead of manually recording infusion information in patient records, a removable portion of the label is peeled off and applied to the patient’s file.

The label also includes a multi-page information brochure, which can be removed and reattached repeatedly. Ehling explains, “Safety precautions and instructions for use in up to four different languages have to fit on the adhesive labels as a rule. That’s a challenge the Hanger Info label meets extremely well.”

Another label for infusions, the Pharma-Tac Plus hanging label from Schreiner Medipharm, also has won multiple awards. Developed jointly with Octapharma, the Pharma-Tac Plus label earned recognition for high-quality printing and sophisticated design. It combines product identification with a hanger, multiple pages of product information and detachable documentation sections.

The tear strength and stability of the label-integrated hanger suspends the infusion bottle securely. Two-layer construction affords ample space for product information in multiple languages. The label opens and re-closes easily, and two detachable sections can be post-printed with the batch number to provide documentation for patient records. Gene Dul, president of Schreiner MediPharm U.S.,concludes, “The label adds value to the product and is easy to integrate into existing manufacturing processes, it lends itself to efficient and reliable use by healthcare staff, and traceability of the infusion makes an important contribution to patient safety.”

Pressure-sensitive adhesive also plays an integral role in Schreiner MediPharm’s Flexi-Cap cap/label combination for vials. The Flexi-Cap Protect design features a top and base cap plus a label that seals both caps to the container and prevents surface contamination. A foam layer can be added to the label to provide added protection against breakage, an especially critical function for cytotoxic products like chemotherapy drugs.

Another version, the Flexi-Cap Plus, incorporates a tear strip so there’s no doubt when a container has been opened. This tamper-evident feature prevents reuse of the vial by counterfeiters. Colored film can be specified to help caregivers quickly identify different medicines or potencies.

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