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home > pmps > winter 2003 > brand protection: a stitch in time!
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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Brand Protection: A Stitch in Time!

Counterfeit medicines are big business - protecting the product and protecting the brand should be considered as two parts of the same marketing platform.

Pharmaceuticals are amongst the most legislated products in the world - and for very good reason. The relationship between pharmaceutical manufacture, distributor, prescriber and consumer is based fundamentally on confidence and trust that the product 'will do what it says on the packet', and indeed, that the product is exactly what it says it is. Manufacturers all over the world, in every market sector, are investing millions in the reputation of their companies by promoting the safety, efficacy and desirability of their products, tied up in sophisticated marketing campaigns which develop associations with glamour or status, safety or trustworthiness. The brand is the guardian of much more than just a name; in many cases, it is the company, even if the two do not share the same name, as is often the case with pharmaceuticals.

In addition, in a global market the brand will probably be the one constant factor ensuring instant recognition, where language, regulations concerning dosage and even the shape of the containers, packaging and labels may be different on different continents. In third world countries where standards of literacy are poor, standards of living are low and the rule of law is questionable, the illegal financial gains to be made from counterfeit products are potentially huge, and the costs of producing counterfeit packaging and labelling are relatively small. Consumers who cannot read tend to relate to and put their trust in the brand rather than the label. Damage to a company's reputation in one country through counterfeit or product piracy is no longer limited to just that country - its effects will be felt globally.


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By Kate Hinsley, Head of Marketing Communications at De La Rue Security Print

Kate Hinsley is a Chartered Marketer and has business-to-business experience in the medical, leisure and print markets. In 1997 she joined De La Rue plc, where she has worked on marketing their security printed documents. She was one of the founding members of the Brand Protection team and has built an extensive knowledge of the issues surrounding the counterfeit of brands.

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Kate Hinsley
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