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Making Consumers Appier: New iPhone App Detects Fake Labels

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Making Consumers Appier: New iPhone App Detects Fake Labels

A new iPhone 4 application is empowering consumers and pharmacists, helping them fight back against counterfeit goods, Healthcare Packaging reports.

The app, called AlpVision, is able to instantly authenticate Varnish Cryptoglyph solution, which is an invisible marking used in the coating applied to packaging and labels. Varnish Cryptoglyph is a random pattern of invisible micro-holes applied to folding cartons, blister packs and labels during the printing process. AlpVision is the first smartphone application that can detect the safety feature.

Separate research from Research2Guidance estimates that global smartphone users will hit 970 million before the end of 2013. With that in mind, these devices should be an ideal platform to perform easy and cost-effective product verification and may become a powerful tool against manufacturers of fake and counterfeit goods.

The recent scandals with Avastin, a cancer-fighting drug, highlight the importance of such phone apps. Counterfeit versions of Avastin, which lacked the key cancer-battling agent, were discovered being distributed at pharmacies throughout the United States.