Labels Tell More Than You Think

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I just got back from LabelExpo 2018 and I was struck by how many companies are tackling solutions for protecting consumer privacy and security. Specialized labels for the pharmaceutical industry are particularly important. This is a need that we’ve been forecasting for years now and a primary application for our self-shredding label patent. Here’s a quick reminder of ways a traditional prescription label can put privacy at risk.

You have the right to keep your medical information private. Your personal information, who your doctors are, and what medications you are taking are all considered HIPAA sensitive information. Your healthcare providers take great pains to keep that information safe, but what about that innocuous looking little plastic bottle you picked up at the pharmacy? A prescription bottle label can include a wealth of information about you — your name, your doctor’s name and phone number, the drug name, the prescription number, the pharmacy name and phone number, and whether there are any remaining refills. Armed with this info, someone could easily call in a refill to the pharmacy and pick it up without you knowing or contact your doctor’s office and request a new prescription be sent to a different pharmacy or impersonate you with the intent to commit more serious medical fraud. Even without the intent of committing fraud, your privacy is at risk as someone sorting through your recycling or trash could easily figure out what medical conditions you or someone in your family has based on the types of medicines you take. 

To keep your personal health information safe, the FDA recommends removing all prescription labels before throwing the packaging away, but that’s easier said than done. Labels are notoriously hard to remove. You might have to soak the bottle in hot water to peel it off or use a blade or sharp knife to scratch it off. You might try inking out your info, although this isn’t a very effective method. Once you remove the label, you still have to shred it. According to a study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Americans filled a record 4.3 billion prescriptions in 2014*. That is a lot of broken fingernails and time spent peeling labels off bottles! 

The Invaluable Inventions design for a self-shredding label provides pharmacies with a simple, cost-effective, secure label that makes it easy for the consumer to destroy their personal information with the pull of a thread when the time comes to throw that bottle or box or tube away. I hope you’ll take a minute to watch our short animation on how it works at http://www.invaluableinventions.com/products/self-shredding-document/.

I’d would love to meet with anyone who might be interested in this innovative product. Feel free to contact me here on LinkedIn or at http://www.invaluableinventions.com/connect/.

 

*Source: http://www.imshealth.com/en/about-us/news/ims-health-study:-2014-a-record–setting-year-for-u.s.-medicines


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