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Protecting Animal Health: Safeguarding Patients and Combatting Counterfeits in Veterinary Medicine


Whether dedicated veterinary medicines for livestock or over-the-counter (OTC) products for pet owners, the animal health sector has many parallels with the pharmaceutical sector. The categories have similar challenges with regard to regulatory compliance, safety and authenticity, which means secure packaging design is paramount. Whether dedicated veterinary medicines for livestock or over-the-counter (OTC) products for pet owners, the animal health sector has many parallels with the pharmaceutical sector. The categories have similar challenges with regard to regulatory compliance, safety and authenticity, which means secure packaging design is paramount.


At MM Packaging, we understand the critical role that packaging plays in safeguarding the integrity of veterinary medicines and ensuring the well-being of animals worldwide. With global animal health concerns and the ongoing challenge of counterfeit drugs, the need for robust packaging solutions has never been more pressing.


The challenge of counterfeits

The International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) estimates that the global counterfeit animal medicines trade is worth $1Bn1, accounting for around 3% of the entire veterinary product market.

These products typically present a risk to animals and the businesses that unknowingly supply them, as they are not subject to the stringent safety testing of verified products. Further industry research has shown that as many as one in ten2 pet owners have purchased counterfeit pet medicines online. The technology to produce illicit counterfeit drug products is becoming more advanced, a challenge also seen in both the animal health and pharmaceutical sectors. This sophistication can make it hard for even the most experienced animal health professionals to distinguish between genuine and fake goods.

Further adding to the risks, licensing boards for veterinarians have regulatory codes and standards that often include the use of counterfeit or illicit products, to protect the welfare of animals. Professionals found to be using fake animal health products, even unknowingly, risk having practice licenses revoked or suspended, along with reputational harm. The use of counterfeit products also poses a risk to liability insurance for animal health specialists or veterinary clinics, where the use of counterfeit or unverified products may factor into malpractice claims.


Advancing anti-counterfeit technology

As an experienced industry specialist, we understand the unique challenges facing the animal health sector, from regulatory compliance to adherence and dispenser expectations. That's why we offer comprehensive packaging solutions that incorporate the latest advances in security technology.

One example of this is our cutting-edge micro-optical system developed in collaboration with security experts Crane Authentication. Crane Micro-Optics are developed using unique processes and equipment to ensure that they cannot be copied. The technology is so secure that it has been adopted into banknote designs across the world. The PROFOUND™ Micro-Optics solution consists of millions of microscopic lenses that add a fluid 3D animation to printed patterns, creating an unmistakable effect that counterfeiters cannot get close to replicating.

The PROFOUND™ film and labels can be printed in a range of designs, which can include company logos and branding or security messaging. This level of customisation ensures that businesses can guarantee their authentic products are unmistakable, putting veterinary professionals and animal owners at ease.

Our commitment to innovation and a strict quality control policy ensures that our clients receive secondary packaging solutions that meet the highest standards of safety, security, and reliability. Adding agility, we operate with the ethos of “Our local knowledge, your global packaging solutions” to underline our combination of market-specific knowledge and regulatory insight, supported by the global logistical strength to deliver on time, wherever our customers may be located.


The role of serialisation

The animal health industry can complement this technology using serialisation to further enhance the security of each pack.

Anti-counterfeit solutions are most effective when they are layered. Multiple different systems incorporated together on a single pack make it exponentially more difficult for counterfeiters to produce credible fakes.

This approach is long established in the pharmaceutical sector but is now gaining traction in animal health. Serialisation, the process of assigning a unique serial number to each individual sales unit, has emerged as a powerful tool in the safeguarding of animal health products through validation of authenticity, and brings further advantages in supply chain traceability and user adherence. Importantly, however, it can be used to complement more advanced security features like Crane micro-optics.

There are further supply chain benefits to serialisation beyond anti-counterfeit measures. Serialisation turns each packaging unit into a data point, which can be tracked from end to end of a supply chain. By providing a comprehensive view of a product’s journey from production to use, serialisation enables businesses in the animal health industry to monitor inventory levels, predict future needs, and optimise distribution channels. This enhanced visibility ensures that veterinary specialists and animal caretakers have access to the medications and drug supplies they need, when they need them, reducing the risk of shortages and disruptions in care.

In addition, serialisation unlocks simpler monitoring of drug expiration dates, ensuring that medications are used safely and effectively within their window of efficacy. By alerting animal health specialists and pet owners to expired or soon-to-expire products, serialisation helps to prevent the administration of outdated medications, safeguarding the health and well-being of animals, including livestock and pets.

By offering cutting-edge Crane Micro-Optics alongside tailored serialisation and layered security services, our packaging production capabilities have been developed with animal health and safeguarding in mind. Businesses can rest assured knowing that their products and customers are protected against safety and counterfeiting issues.

We are proud to be at the forefront of this important market evolution, providing our clients with the packaging tools to safeguard the health and well-being of animals worldwide.

To explore how MM Packaging can support your animal health packaging needs, visit