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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Counterfeit Drugs - A Clear and Present Danger

Drugs - An Easy Target

The tip of the iceberg is clearly visible and getting larger by the day. Drug counterfeiting and diversion are flourishing in today's world of tumbling international trade barriers, easy global marketing reach via the Internet, and simple access to sophisticated manufacturing and packaging technologies. Drug counterfeiting has steadily evolved from small-scale, opportunistic, activities in less regulated parts of the world to what has now become a widespread global threat to consumers and brand owners. Informed estimates put the size of the annual global market in fake drugs somewhere in the region of US$30 billion, representing about seven per cent of pharmaceutical industry revenue. Even more alarming are results of surveys showing that counterfeit drugs in some countries comprise in excess of 50 per cent of the market. These activities clearly put consumers at risk, threaten corporate and brand integrity, and generate significant cash for organised crime and terrorist groups.

Pharmaceuticals are an attractive target to counterfeiters, mainly because they have a high value in relation to their physical bulk. Consider some of the anti-cancer and anti-HIV treatments where a single pallet of product can represent many millions of dollars - for example, a standard 12-week course of Serostim treatment for HIV/AIDS patients costs approximately US$21,000.


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By Dr James Rittenburg, Vice President of Technology and Business Development at Biocode Dr James Rittenburg joined Biocode in 1994 and is currently Vice President of Technology and Business Development. He received his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Maine at Orono in 1981 and has over 20 years' experience developing immunodiagnostic systems for detecting trace levels of chemicals in samples including pharmaceuticals, foods, beverages, petrochemicals and agricultural products.
He has edited several books, authored numerous journal articles and is an inventor on a number of patents in this field. Prior to joining Biocode, James was Director of Product Development for Quantix Systems, where he had responsibility for overseeing the development of immunodiagnostic systems for detecting and measuring environmental pollutants.

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Dr James Rittenburg
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