Following the EU regulations which will make Braille mandatory on folding cartons and labels for pharmaceutical use in most European countries, Sessions of York says European pharmaceutical companies are already reporting that requests for Braille on packaging has significantly increased.
Consequently the company has reacted to this demand and established a standard to meet their customers’ needs well before the Government passes these EU Directives.
The EU’s recommendations for minimum dot heights hover between 0.46-0.50mm on cartons and 0.25mm for label printers, however, Sessions says these are not viable on most high-speed packaging lines, machines and materials. “An incorrect or missing dot would require a complete product recall, which would prove to be costly and damaging commercial exercise, so manufacturers are still very cautious”, it says.
However, Sessions claims to have surpassed the EU’s 2004/27 directives and has achieved “highly accurate” 0.37mm – 0.4mm minimum dot heights on label presses at high speeds, printing on transparent filmic labels. Its “Profile” Labels can provide a raised tactile image in Braille, Moon or large conventional lettering.
According to Sessions, the various attempts at providing a suitable, readily accepted specification have proved largely unsuccessful and this situation has been exacerbated by various leading EU charities, which have not yet fully embraced the directive.
“The Braille alphabet itself is not common across the EU, let alone across the world”, says the company. But, “Whilst the Braille alphabet is not uniform, a specific Braille font specification defines the spaces between the dots, and is the most commonly used Braille system for pharmaceutical packaging and labels”. This un-contracted Braille system is recommended by both EU and The European Blind Union’s guidelines and this is a Braille format Sessions are able to produce.
The 12th amendment to the medicines’ law requires that from the 1st September 2006, packaging in Germany must also carry the name of medicine in Braille and as Italy have already passed such legislation, and Sessions believes the rest of the EU will not be far behind.
Sessions of York
Tel: +44(0) 1904 659224