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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Safeguarding Supplies

The EU requirements for protecting medicines against counterfeiting will become mandatory in February 2019. Consequently, pharmaceutical manufacturers are preparing to meet these demands with 2D identification codes and sealing of their sales packs. However, they should be aware that these measures alone will not guarantee a product’s integrity or authenticity. Only their combination with additional counterfeit-proof authenticity features can offer a comprehensive approach against fraud, misuse, and tampering. Customised multi-level security concepts, including analogue and digital features like near-field communication (NFC), ensure that all stakeholders – whether they are an informed expert or end-user – can be involved in the authentication process.

Counterfeit medicines are a common threat and an international challenge to all stakeholders involved in the pharma supply chain. The WHO estimates that up to 7% of all medicines in industrialised countries and 30-70% in developing countries are fakes. As the profit margins are clearly higher than those generated with drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, global counterfeiting syndicates are increasingly involved as well. All forms of administration are affected, including tablets, infusions, injections, ointments, and solutions, whether or not they require medical prescription. This poses a major risk to the safety of patients. Counterfeits are particularly widespread in developing countries in Africa and Asia and as a result of the growing number of internet pharmacies. Using diverse methods, fraudsters either circumvent the legal distribution chain or take advantage of its complexity to channel in products that have been falsified in terms of their identity, ingredients, or origin.

Many Unreported Cases

Counterfeiters use increasingly professional methods to produce detailed copies of medicine packs and fill them with ineffective, harmful, or even toxic imitations. More than a million people around the world die every year as a result, according to Interpol.

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Dr Nadine Lampka is Product Manager of Pharma-Security at Schreiner MediPharm – a business unit of Schreiner Group based in Oberschleissheim, Germany. She is in charge of defining business development strategies, as well as managing the product portfolio, which covers complete security systems tailored to customers’ specific requirements for effective anti-tampering and anti-counterfeiting protection. Nadine obtained her PhD – research on anti-cancer drugs – in chemistry from the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Arne Rehm is Product Manager of radio frequency identifcation/ NFC Solutions at Schreiner MediPharm. He is responsible for developing new markets and smart solutions for diverse applications in pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Prior to joining Schreiner MediPharm in 2012, Arne worked as a consultant and research associate at the Institute for Economic Studies of Medium-sized Companies at the University of Trier, Germany, focusing on innovation management and strategic marketing. He graduated in business administration.
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Dr Nadine Lampka
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Arne Rehm
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