We propose to demonstrate the feasibility of encoding pharmaceutical tablets using UV laser marking technology and edible integral lens array imagery as an anti-counterfeit device where individual tablets can each be uniquely coded with a hologram-like marker with a matching, non-edible, hologram-like marker placed on the outside of the bottle or as a security seal around the cap. Materials to be considered for the edible lens array are listed on the FDA's generally recognized as safe (GRAS) inventory. The integral lens array provides a means to read the markings but cannot readily be used to alter the markings. This provides traceability as well as security analogous to public key encryption. In addition to the benefit to public safety, such capability could be used by the FDA as a standardized method for pharmaceutical inventory.
The successful demonstration of the feasibility of the pharmaceutical laser marking method proposed here will, on further development, provide a means to fight pharmaceutical counterfeiting and thereby safeguard public health.