Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Monday, August 26, 2013

Prefilled Prescription Labels

Prescript Pharmaceuticals ( the risk of dispensing prescriptions to patients by packaging and labeling individual prescription containers.  As a licensed repackager, Prescript Pharmaceuticals meets Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirements and applicable Federal and State regulations virtually eliminating the most common risks associated with pharmacy packaging and labeling.

m-pack label

In addition to repackaging, Prescript offers a dispensing solution called 5MRX Dispensary.  According to Bill Hartig, President of Prescript Pharmaceuticals, “5MRX Dispensary is a complete dispensing solution, from small physician offices to large pharmacies.  Traditional dispensary methods are inefficient, taking lots of time and space.  Plus these methods introduce potential errors into the dispensing and labeling process.  With our new dispensary solution, we eliminate the potential for dispensing errors.”

5MRX Dispensary includes the software application, Dispensary.  The Dispensary software application allows you to track and trace new prescriptions & refills; order, receive, dispense, and transfer filled pharmaceutical vials; and import/export data for reports, including controlled substance submissions.

In addition, the 5MRX Dispensary includes modular, stackable and lockable storage containers:


as well as revolutionary, new m-pack® pharmacy vials from M-Pack Systems ( 


The m-pack’s flat design features 1.8X label space, allowing for the opportunity to communicate more important information in larger type sizes on an easy to read flat surface.  According to Bill, “with the m-pack vial, you can use much larger labels than traditional round vials.  Larger label real estate allows for bigger fonts, color images, highlights in color and QR Codes to communicate important information to the end user; reducing potential errors further.  Plus, m-pack flat shape is 1/3rd more space efficient than an equivalent round vial; and is stackable, rackable and shippable making prepacking much more effective.”

With the larger label size, the Dispensary solution is perfect for print on-demand color labels.  Bill recommends the Epson color label printer for pharmacies to print m-pack vial labels when required at the point of service.   See Bill’s label design including the pill image with number.


Prescript Pharmaceuticals sells the hardware (storage containers, etc.), and licenses the software for a monthly fee. 

After seeing this solution, one key point has become clear to me:  Combining the larger labels on the m-pack vial with software from companies such as Prescript Pharmaceuticals will make print on-demand color labels the industry standard in pharmacies in the very near future.  Contact me if you want to discuss how you or your customers can deploy a print on-demand color label pharmacy solution.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pharmacy Labels; Print On-Demand Color

From August 10 to 13th, I attended the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Total Store Expo in Las Vegas (, demonstrating print on-demand color labels with M-Pack Systems (  For those of you who did not see my demonstration, please read on.


The mission of NACDS is to advance the interests and objectives of the chain community pharmacy industry, by fostering its growth and promoting its role as a provider of healthcare services and consumer products.  NACDS accomplished this mission completely at their Total Store Expo with more than 3,000 retailers and exhibitors attending the show.  To see the participating companies, look here:

Color Label Solutions

At the expo, I participated with M-Pack Systems, creator of the m-pack, the first new pharmacy vial since 1955.

m-pack’s flat design features 1.8X or more label space than traditional round vials, allowing pharmacists to communicate important information in larger, bolder, and highlighted fonts on an easy to read flat surface.  Larger label real estate allows for color images, automated color warning labels and QR codes to communicate important information better to patients; improving both compliance and adherence.  Plus, m-pack’s flat shape is 1/3rd more space efficient than an equivalent round vial; and is stackable, rackable and shippable making central fill, mail order and prepacking much more effective.


To print the pharmacy labels, I used the just introduced TM-C3500 color label printer from Epson.  With speeds up to 4” per second, 4 colors, improved print quality and lower ink costs, the TM-C3500 is perfect for adding images, colors, larger fonts and QR codes to pharmacy labels quickly and easily.  To learn more this label printer, visit these sites:

Check out this video printing color pharmacy labels on-demand:

According to Richard Lee, Executive Vice President of M-Pack, “m-pack is the most compliant package in the industry, with many more features than round vials.  With our package, you get consulting at the point of use, as well as visual cues like large fonts, more white space, highlighting, colors and QR codes to improve compliance and adherence.  The m-pack is all about product safety.”

Tom Guschke, Chief Executive Officer of M-Pack says, “m-pack is a better alternative for patients, pharmacies and healthcare overall.  With our ecosystem of partners including Color Label Solutions, we are offering total solutions and not just products.”

William Negrini, President of M-Pack adds, “the m-pack solution is disruptive technology.  With m-pack, you get not only a safer, more efficient vial, but also print on-demand color at the same approximate cost as black only direct thermal pharmacy labels.”

The NACDS Total Store Expo was a valuable investment for Color Label Solutions; and hopefully you as well.  If you think adding color, images, and larger fonts to your pharmacy labels would be valuable, contact me to discuss how we can help you make this transition to a better, safer and more compliant alternative.

Guy Mikel

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Short Run, In-Plant Batch Label Printing

Recently, I attended training on the Swiftcolor SCL-4000D Label Printer ((  If you have a large number of SKU’s with an even larger inventory of preprinted labels, you should read this post covering short run, in-plant batch label printing.

As background, the Swiftcolor SCL-400D is distributed in North America by Kanematsu USA ( exporter of Japanese technology products.  Their KG Digital group distributes a variety of printers including devices for security and photo markets ( Originally, the Swiftcolor printer was developed by Canon Finetech (

As a short run, in-plant batch label printer, this printer produces beautiful prints; up to 1,200 x 1,200 resolution.  Here is a scanned image of a label produced by the SwiftColor printer.


In addition, it runs fast; up to almost 8” per second.  Check out this video of the printer running.

Kanematsu offers two types of printers; one with a dye based ink and one with pigment ink.  The pigment-based ink printer will produced much more durable, longer-lived labels.  However, the pigment ink printer runs slower; 6” per second.  Generally, I recommend the pigment based ink for most manufacturing based applications; but the dye based ink may work well in certain segments.

Using the label in the image above as a 4” x 5” label, the estimated ink cost is $0.0145 after printing more than about 100 in a run.  Printing less in a batch increases the costs, printing more changes costs little.  Kamematsu provides a tool to calculate/estimate ink costs prior to printing.


After my training, I see one issue with the Swiftcolor printer; the printheads and two other parts are consumable items.  According to Kanematsu, the 4 printheads will last 1 million 4” x 3” labels with 7.5% coverage.  With larger labels and more coverage, the life expectancy of the printerheads is less.  Given the cost is $2,500 for 4, printhead cost is important to add to your label cost estimates.  Plus, changing printheads requires technical skills and should be completed only by a technically skilled worker.

If you print large quantities of labels in short runs in your facility, you should consider the Swiftcolor Label printer.  Now, you can produce beautiful labels at relatively low costs quickly and easily.  I see this printer fitting manufacturers with lots of SKU’s that want to move production in-house.  However, the printer requires maintenance that is not for the technically challenged.

Please contact me to discuss how you can put this high speed, batch printer to work for you.

Guy Mikel