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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Total Transparency

Analysing counterfeit-resistant tracking and tracing with colour-codes, Nicole Golomb at 3S Simons Security Systems insists that transparent sales channels should be the top priority for the industry

An increasing number of counterfeit pharmaceuticals are entering the supply chain. Major industry associations rely on counterfeit-resistant packaging in order to protect drugs. Currently, pharmaceutical companies are championing 2D barcoding on packaging as a technological solution to protect patient safety. This method offers decisive logistical advantages; however, Europe-wide parallel import trade restricts its functionality. As an alternative, micro colour-code systems may help the healthcare sector to thoroughly protect its primary and secondary packages. Colour coding can also be combined with track-and-trace systems.

THE COUNTERFEIT PROBLEM

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that counterfeit drugs account for approximately five to 10 per cent of the total worldwide trade in pharmaceuticals. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that worldwide sales of fake drugs exceed US$3.5 billion per year. And the market is still growing, according to the US Center for Medicines in the Public Interest (CMPI), who predict that if action is not taken to curb this deadly trade then by 2010 counterfeit drug sales could reach US$75 billion globally.

Numerous case studies, surveys, seizures and recalls confirm these alarming estimates. In the first half of 2007, customs officials at Frankfurt International Airport, Germany, seized 15,250 pharmaceuticals such as dangerous diet drugs and counterfeit tablets of a popular potency pill. In September and October 2006, an investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) led to the sentencing of four men to several years of imprisonment. This was a great success after a major recall in May and June 2007 when fake versions of blood-thinning and antipsychotic drugs, as well as pharmaceuticals for the treatment of prostate cancer, entered the legal supply chain. The number of fake drug offences seems to be endless. No systematic overview of all globally registered counterfeit cases in the pharmaceutical industry has been available so far


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Nicole Golomb is Marketing and Sales Manager for anti-counterfeit systems at 3S Simons Security Systems GmbH, in Germany. Nicole is in charge of the management of specific customer projects dealing with individual applications of the SECUTAG® micro colour-code system on branded articles. Furthermore, she is responsible for the analysis of processing technologies in specific industries and the product protection system’s integration in different branches.
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Rotech launch new modular conveyors to simplify packaging coding

Rotech Machines, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of coding and marking technology, has launched a new range of high-quality modular conveyor systems, designed specifically for food, pharmaceutical, medical and industrial packaging operations. The small, modular, interlocking conveyors offer customers greater packing and coding flexibility, allowing users to pack goods and print codes at speed in any location. The all-in-one conveyor systems are particularly beneficial where space is limited, where coding and packing is currently performed in different locations, or where a conventional industrial conveyor is too large.
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