What is it?: Pharmaceutical Printing

Here at Fisherprint and TLC, pharmaceutical printing is one of our biggest on-going projects, so we thought we’d tell you a little more about it… 

To read more about Printing Features, head over to our websites: Fisherprint | TLC Signs & Banners

When it comes to commercial printing, many people immediately begin to think of printed leaflets and business cards. However, the range of projects we work on is far more varied and even includes pharmaceutical printing!

pharaceutical printing fisherprint printers peterborough
Pharmaceutical Printing

Pharmaceutical printing in the UK is a massive industry. There is a huge range of products and services in need of instructions and information about allergens and ingredients; so medications, creams and serums – by law – need a list of ingredients and directions for use to accompany them… this is where Fisherprint comes in.

Pharmaceutical printing is an integral corner stone of the work completed here at Fisherprint Ltd. As a specialist certified pharmaceutical printing company, we pride ourselves on offering our customers a service with total in-house digital origination and design, unique colour management, proof reading, quality control, cataloging and database and brand management. With over 60 years’ experience in supplying specialist and commercial pharmaceutical markets with a wide variety of print solutions, Fisherprint is more than qualified to fulfill any pharmaceutical printing needs, ranging from marketing brochures and large format posters to miniature, folded and spine glued instruction leaflets. Our PS 9000:2011 certification and use of ThirdEye optical print reading technology demonstrates our commitment to the quality and finish of our work.

Pharmaceutical Printing

Since gaining our Pharmaceutical Code of Practice in 1995, Fisherprint has set the standard as a high quality corporate printer in Peterborough. Pharmaceutical printers in the UK must adhere to Government regulations – so every fact needs to be checked for accuracy and every ingredient must be listed. The design and text of every project must be approved by the Pharmaceutical Code of Practice prior to Fisherprint seeing the design, as it needs to be legally correct and safe to read. These checks are undertaken before anything is printed.

pharmaceutical printing essentra pharmaceutical fisherprint pharmaceutical printers peterborough
Pharmaceutical printing and packaging. PHOTO CREDIT: Essentra

Our PS 9000:2011 certification illustrates our dedication to the pharmaceutical sector. We take full responsibility for your overall print quality – affirming your confidence in the standard of our work, whilst relieving stress by removing the need for any further inspection after print.

pharamaceutical printing fisherprint printers peterborough
Miniature folded pharmaceutical leaflet. PHOTO CREDIT: Pharmaceutical Printers

Pharmaceutical Printing Procedures

The printing presses at Fisherprint are run for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows us to cater to the needs of our customers whilst maintaining maximum efficiency. With the large B1 format used, the presses are able to print up to eight A4 sized pieces onto each sheet. Our presses can also print up to six colours with ease, allowing for maximum colour quality and readability.

Pharmaceutical printing paper can run as thin as 45GSM which – in layman’s terms – is almost translucent. Clients can specify which GSM they want in the initial quoting stage of the project.

heidelberg speedmaster printing press fisherprint printers peterborough
Heidelberg Speedmaster printing press at Fisherprint.

Pharmaceutical Instruction Leaflets and Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) are printed flat on the B1 format before they are checked by our highly qualified and dedicated printers. Upon their approval, the sheets are then sent to the die-cutter and creaser.


Inserts for pharmaceutical printing are commonplace. For example, instructions for pharmaceuticals may be found on inserts inside the product packaging.

pharmaceutical inserts fisherprint pharmaceutical printers peterborough
Pharmaceutical leaflet inserts. PHOTO CREDIT: EyeC-UK


Outserts are securely closed miniature leaflets. These are less commonly found as many manufacturers require information leaflets to be placed within the packaging. However, there are cases where a manufacturer would require the miniature folded pharmaceutical leaflet or brochure to be placed within a laminated sheet so it can be taken out, read and placed back in.

essentra pharmaceutical outserts fisherprint pharmaceutical printers peterborough
Essentra Pharmaceutical outserts. PHOTO CREDIT: Essentra

Pharmaceutical Brochure Printing

This is one element of pharmaceutical printing that requires a little more work due to a few time-consuming elements within the process. Multi-folded pharmaceutical brochures require either staples or glue down the spine. This type of printing is used for pharmaceutical print work that isn’t involved with medication.

Before stricter printing and legislation laws were enforced, consumers were able to remove parts of important pharmaceutical booklets – and this provided them the possibility to sue the manufacturers for not displaying the correct allergens and/or ingredients.

pharmaceutical brochure printing fisherprint pharmaceutical printers peterborough
Pharmaceutical brochure printing. PHOTO CREDIT: Merx.in

Pharmaceutical Print Finishing

The printed sheets are cut down to the required size and creased where folds are needed. From there, the freshly cut sheets are sent to the guillotine where they will be more accurately reduced in size. This method of miniature print finishing is used across all platforms of pharmaceutical printing due to it’s accuracy and efficiency.

As pharmaceutical leaflets are printed on one large sheet of paper, the sheet needs to be folded to create a leaflet with pages in the correct order and format. Previously, each page would be individually printed and then collated on the folding machine into the correct order. Now – to prevent any misgivings and mistakes – the whole pharmaceutical leaflet is printed on one sheet, and then spine glued to form one leaflet.

Other folded pharmaceutical instruction leaflets will be left with a large white border.

folding machine for pharmaceutical print
Folding machine for pharmaceutical print. PHOTO CREDIT: Gab Supplies

Pharmaceutical distribution plays a massive role in the overall process of our pharmaceutical printing as we then send the leaflets to a second party printers to be cut further – known to some as tagserts – and placed on a roll ready to be used on a multitude of products.




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