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Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs

Among the myriad of challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry, the challenge of counterfeit drugs is probably the greatest. It not only causes tremendous revenue losses, but also negatively impacts a companyís reputation and brand image. Most importantly, the miseries inflicted by it on human life are simply incalculable.

Counterfeit drugs are not only threatening the confidence in healthcare professionals and health programmes, but they are also increasing the burden on healthcare systems, national medicine regulatory authorities, law enforcement, and criminal justice systems. According to industry estimates, counterfeit medicines sales are ranging from Ä150-Ä200 billion (US$163-$217 billion) per year (1). To counter this increasing threat, government bodies in most countries are devising more robust and strict regulations to control the genesis and proliferation of fake medicines. Track-and-trace, along with pharma product serialisation, is the next firm step towards winning this fight.

The Increasing Serialisation Trend

Serialisation entails encoding of each pharma product coming off a packaging line with a unique identification code that can be traced at each point throughout the supply chain. The unique identification code can be stored into an online database along with the other valuable information about the product, such as manufacturer and batch details, thus allowing for monitoring and tracing the journey of each product, from packaging line right up to the patient. Currently, serialisation regulations are at different phases of development in various countries. To match these country-specific deadlines, most of the global pharma companies need to be track-and-trace- and serialisation-ready.

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Gaurav Mohite at ACG Inspection Systems has over six years of expertise in holistic track-andtrace solutions for the pharma industry. He was part of the complete trackand- trace implementation team across all the ACG implementation globally. Gaurav had completed his masterís for Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, India, in marketing and bachelor degree in engineering. At the early stage of his professional career, he had worked on vision inspection systems and track-and-trace applications as developer and business analyst throughout the industry. Gaurav is currently working as product manager and working for product marketing, strategy planning, and technologic innovations.
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