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home > pmps > autumn 2009 > technology tackles counterfeiting
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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Technology Tackles Counterfeiting

 

Counterfeiters are more active globally than ever before, feeding on consumer needs for cheaper products, with several distribution channels available to them. Are we doing enough to fight counterfeiting and are we using the right approach? Do we have systems capable of dealing with this issue? A novel technology which uses embedded intelligence in the packaging that cannot be duplicated, thereby creating unique IDs allows for the ultimate fight against counterfeiters. It is time for us to take advantage of this and empower the consumer to verify authenticity.

Drug counterfeiting inhibits growth of legitimate products in the marketplace. In the current global environment, counterfeits are growing significantly to occupy an astounding 10 per cent of the global drug marketplace, according to published reports by the World Health Organization (WHO). The problem is not associated with specific geographic regions, but hits every facet of our global supply chain. If published data on counterfeit vaccines is any indication, things could get even worse if consumers end up using counterfeit H1N1 vaccines and other products. The frightening aspect of all of this is the great reliance on trust alone, because the consumer or brand owner does not have the ability to verify the authenticity of the product any time, anywhere. The life sciences industry is a key target because of its high value products and weak or broken links in the supply chain – essentially the lack of endto- end supply chain visibility. The weak link in the supply chains within countries need to be fixed in order to enhance visibility in the global supply chain.

This article also examines the different options used as security features on packaging, and discusses if we are encouraging the adoption of the best approach with serialised IDs. The article also discusses the embedded, noncopiable intelligence in every package based on its structure, and asks if we would be better off using this as part of any standardised approach, especially as it costs much less than some of the technologies currently used.

STRENGTHENING BUSINESS PROCESSES

A recent study in the EU, Building Radio frequency Identification solutions for the Global Environment (BRIDGE), reported that full supply chain traceability of pharmaceutical products is entirely feasible in an open cross-border supply chain system, when using accepted standards.


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Narendra Srivatsa is responsible for Cortegra’s packaging solutions and services for the healthcare industry. He has developed and launched the RxTrackNSecureTM brand to the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Cortegra, he spent 15 years in a number of different key roles at International Paper, leading them into new products and markets. Narendra has been awarded numerous process and product patents, many of which have been commercialised or licensed. He has authored articles in many leading trade publications and has also developed and presented the training module on ‘RFID Enhanced Packaging’ as part of a day long training on ‘RFID in the Life Sciences’ presented at the Interphex 2005 and Interphex 2006.
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