Putting Security First
A growing need for security packaging opens up opportunities for converters to increase their customer base and income.
THE TYLENOL MURDERS of 1982, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and last year's Procrit® drug scare all have something in common: they're all the result of product counterfeiting and/or tampering. Once deemed relatively harmless problems, counterfeiting and tampering have turned out to be sinister crimes that threaten public safety and encumber economies around the world.
The statistics are dismal.
• In a blitz this past summer, the FDA and the U.S. Customs Service found that 88 percent of drug products examined at mail facilities in Miami and New York City were found to be counterfeit and contained "potentially dangerous" substances.
• Shrinkage—revenue lost to product pilferage, tampering, counterfeiting, etc.—cost U.S. retailers $31.3 billion in 2002, according to a presentation by Valeron Strength Films (Houston, Texas), which cites information from a National Retail Federation National Retail Security Survey from November 2002.
• According to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), the worldwide computer software industry loses between $12 and $16 billion per year due to piracy and counterfeiting. That's more than 40 percent of all global software business revenues.
• In 1993, the U.S. Customs Service estimated the total American job loss due to product counterfeiting was 750,000 jobs.
• In 1994, New York City's consumer affairs commissioner, Mark Green, approximated that counterfeiting cost the city more than $350 million in lost tax revenues, according to the IACC.
The numbers say it all. Yet, in the midst of this uphill battle to save lives and bottom lines, there is hope. In recent years, new security packaging has emerged that's affordable, easily integrated into a converters' current processes, and—most importantly—makes criminals work harder than ever.
Thus, security packaging presents an ample opportunity for many converters to expand their portfolio, while adding value to their capabilities.