Do you remember when people felt that the internet was going to eliminate paperwork and copies? ….and that everything was going to be stored digitally? The fact is that more paper is being used that ever before. Why? Because copies of important documents are critical to our lives. We need copies because we don’t fully trust electronic storage. There is too much that can go wrong. Everybody has had a hard drive failure or accidentally deleted critical information. Add in all the hacking and electronic invasion
and paper just feels like a good solution.
What does this have to do with booklet labels? Offering all the important use and technical instructions in “hard copy” format on your product is a welcome valued added feature to your customers. Whether they use it or not, it is always be there for them. It can’t be deleted. Nobody is going to hack it. It’s easy to see this information as something that “should be” put on the web to save money, but consider what a convenience this information is to your customer. In a world where every competitive advantage is needed, don’t overlook how a physical hard copy of detailed instructions gives your product an edge.
Very honestly, we do hear from some customers who believe that their clients are not reading the supplied information. It bothers them because it is costing them money to provide a benefit that their end users are not using or could care less about…at least in their opinion. We have all witnessed the empty containers with unopened product instructions in the trash. It’s disturbing. It seems like a huge waste.
The truth is that your company is benefiting whether your end user reads
the information or not. Think of the advantages: (1) You are providing your
customer with a complete product package. Whether your customer reads it or not, at least they have the option of doing so. The customers who read it will appreciate the detailed instructions. Those who don’t, won’t care much, but they also won’t look at your package as incomplete. (2) Today, we all have to worry about product liability. This means we put our companies at risk when we take shortcuts. It may save a few pennies to not supply a booklet label with more detailed procedures, but what happens if safety is compromised? Those will be the most expensive pennies you ever “saved.” (3) You give your company an excellent legal argument. You can present the fact to court that you did everything you could to make your product as user friendly and safe as possible. That’s a lot better than you being accused of having a sub par presentation particularly if you are involved in a jury trial. (4) If your end user doesn’t read it today, they might tomorrow. The fact that the information is convenient and available to be read 24/7 is worth something. (5) Having the information available on the product package saves time. Smart Phone with internet connection are fast, but they aren’t as fast as reaching for a supplied onsert with the information needed. In the worst case scenario, the speed of access might save a life.
The point here is that providing the information on product has many excellent benefits for your company beyond whether your customers reads the information or not.
JHB’s Bertrand Clinical Label division sponsored the Clarence High School JV Cheerleaders for their 2017-2018 season. “I am a little biased about our Clarence Cheerleaders because my daughter Ashley is on the team. They do an absolute fantastic job”, remarked Jeff Bertrand. Just last Sunday, Clarence came in first at the Winter ECIC competition. Way to go Ash!
Jeff and Ashley Bertrand are pictured on the right.
Peel tabs are widely used on booklet labels for curved surfaces. The idea is that they offer an easy way to get a finger under the tab to open the booklet. We sell against the peel tab as much as possible because we believe this advantage is marginal versus how much cost and time a peel tab takes.
Here are some of the disadvantages of peel tabs: (1) Peel tabs create an extra step in the process. After the booklet press sheets are printed, they must be sent to die cutting equipment to create the tabs which takes more time and costs more money. (2) Peel tabs cover between 15% to 25% of the peel up wing. Less exposed adhesive equals less stick to the liner. The opening wing of this type of booklet label (Lam to Liner) sticks directly to the carrying liner so it is weaker bond to begin with. If you need to serialize your label with a post print process that has a long web path with lots of turns, this makes it more likely that the label will delaminate and get caught in the rollers. The same is true when using label applicating equipment.
Don’t get me wrong, peel tabs are widely used, but at BCL, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce lead times and cost while maintaining a high level product. We believe eliminating the peel tab makes a lot of sense. One caveat– if you are not convinced, and you need a peel tab, we can do it for you, of course.
The Food and Drug Administration is going back at the patient insert industry (PI industry) that mainly involves pharmacists and other drug professionals. The newest proposal will require the elimination of the paper insert in lieu of putting it all on the internet. This does not include those areas where the patient/consumer receives the PI directly.
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is proposing to amend its prescription drug and biological product labeling regulations to require electronic distribution of the prescribing information intended for health care professional, which is currently distributed in paper form on or within the package from which a prescription drug or biological product is dispensed.” FDA is also proposing that prescribing information intended for health care professionals will no longer be permitted to be distributed in paper form with the package from which a prescription drug or biological product is dispensed except at provided by regulation. ” FDA-2007-N-0363
This proposal is pointed at those companies that manufacture PI’s which are often glued to the top of large bottles of medication. The “bulk” materials are often repackaged in smaller containers to be given to patients/consumers. (This is only about 4% of JH Bertrand’s business, but it is a very interesting story to us) The proposal is to require this information to be online only and to forbid it from being on the product package.
A year ago, this idea was part of a bill that was moving through the US Senate and House of Representatives. A few senators removed it from the bill (H.R.1919- Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013) and the PI industry breathed a sigh of relief. Now, the FDA is back at it again.
PPLA which represents the manufacturers of patient inserts and a US senator ( Susan M. Collins) have written the FDA in protest of this proposed rule. They argue that shaky networks, power outages and rural locations will put patients and medical personal at risk. Furthermore, they argue that during natural disasters there may be no access to the internet. And, many communities around the country still have limited internet access. You can see that they have a point as power seems to be less consistent than it used to be. And, of course, every other day we are hearing about major computer system being hacked ie Sony Pictures being the latest creating huge issues for all involved.
Paper is bulletproof. It’s doesn’t need a computer or phone to be powered up to read it. It can’t be hacked. Paper is the best back up system that exists! Everybody can use it; All you need to do is be able to read.
Conversely, the FDA argues that professionals have wide access to the internet and that the patient information in paper form is wasteful and unnecessary.
Certainly, JH Bertrand is on the side of the PI manufacturers as paper backup is being proven over and over again to be a smart move for all involved. We hope the FDA will drop this proposal and follow what Congress debated and decided last year.
The location of the FDA document is http://federalregister.gov/a/2014-29522
On Monday, the Buffalo, NY metro area got hit with an intense lake effect snow storm that dumped 5 feet of snow (yes 5 feet not typo) in many areas south of the city. This created mass havoc in the southern area of the city with driving bans due to vehicles stuck everywhere. In the northern area of the city, virtually no snow fell.
We had many emails and calls from friends around the country asking how we were after listening to the “end of the world” media reports. They were very surprised to hear that we had only two inches on the ground. You can see in the second picture that there is a very clear line where the intense snow fall stops. This picture was taken about 1/8 of a mile from JH Bertrand which is why we didn’t have much snow. The first picture is an employee’s car in the driveway mile away. Ouch!
Football is a game of inches. Apparently, snow storms are as well. Aside from missing a few key employees, JH Bertrand is functioning normally today!
In the last 20 years, you couldn’t miss hearing or reading about somebody moving something from paper to electronic. It’s everywhere from coupons to online payments to newspapers to company brochures. Everything is going online. Nobody wants to use paper. It’s obsolete. It’s done. It’s not environmentally friendly. In fact, nobody wants to read something that isn’t on a computer screen or Smart phone right? Well, as with everything in life, what seemed to be a great idea is showing some glaring weaknesses.
Now (everyday) we are hearing and reading about huge network breaches. Home Depot, Walmart, Citibank, JP Morgan to name of few have had huge network break-ins opening up consumers and businesses to untold account fraud. JP Morgan’s breach affected 76 million customers alone. There are only 320 million people in the country!! Consumers and businesses are having to constantly change accounts or update passwords. Nothing seems secure anymore. There is a new saying that is going around the IT world: There are two kinds of people- those who know they have been hacked and those who don’t know they have been hacked. It’s a funny statement, but it is proving to be very true. The high point of this problem was marked by a story last year where the Russians decided to buy typewriters to shut down online leaks. Typewriters!!! LOL! How things come around.
The point here is that hard copy is a bullet-proof way to offer important information. Why put it on a shaky network where it is open to being hacked or where you need a device with power to read it? Hard copy is always there. It doesn’t take power to read it. It can’t be hacked. It will never go down. In a litigious world, hard copy offers peace of mind that the right information is getting to the customer keeping him/her safe while protecting the manufacturer from liability.
The next time somebody wants to put the product copy (eliminating the booklet label to save money the thinking goes) “in the cloud” and take it off the product package, think twice!
JH Bertrand is pleased to introduce its wholly owned subsidiary Bertrand Clinical Label. JH Bertrand has had a separate unit since 2001, but without branding it so. The company decided it was time for the unit to be recognized for its very unique functions. “The clinical industry demands such specialized processes and manufacturing which our clinical unit addresses very well. It only made sense to make it a separate distinct entity,” remarks Jeff Bertrand.
Aside from a new name, it also has a new dedicated website bertrandclinicallabel.com. BCL offers a very appealing value proposition …that booklet labels with random variable text should be less expensive that what is currently being offered in the marketplace which is detailed on the new website. “Clinical booklet labels with variable text are more expensive than average booklet labels because there is so much that goes into them to attain the proper quality, ” says Jeff. “But, we feel that the pricing in the industry could more sensitive to the cost pressure that healthcare is facing. BLC addresses that very issue while maintaining the proper level of quality.” BCL will offer a complete line of clinical products which includes single ply labels to booklet labels with peel off labels for application to case reports.
The company plans on adding additional variable printing equipment next year to its already robust capability.
We’ll be attending Label Expo in Chicago. If you want to meet up, please email Jeff Bertrand at firstname.lastname@example.org . Hope to see you there.
JH Bertrand is exhibiting at Contract Pharma again this year. Jeff Bertrand and Keith Schwertfeger will be there to represent the company. “Last year, the show resulted in a couple of large customers. Contract Pharma has always been a good show for us,” commented Jeff Bertrand. Please visit us at booth 116 on September 18th. The show hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ. Come visit us!