7th Annual Pharmaceutical Anti-Counterfeiting


London, UK
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Discovering innovation in strategies to target Pharmaceutical Counterfeiting & protect brand integrity Counterfeit medications are becoming a huge problem for many aspects of the pharmaceutical community from big pharma companies, through to wholesalers and down to end user level where patients are affected. The FDA estimates that 10% of the global market is counterfeit however there is no accurate way to measure this. WHO describes counterfeit medications as: " that is deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled with respect to identity and/or source. Counterfeiting can apply to both branded and generic products and counterfeit products may include products with the correct ingredients, the wrong ingredients, without active ingredients, with insufficient quantity of active ingredient or with fake packaging." These counterfeit medicines appeal to patients in this economic climate because they are cheap and easily available online. This is generating problems for Big Pharma companies as they may have a liability role if these counterfeit medicines are not removed from the market. It affects their brand integrity and costs companies millions in research and development of anti-counterfeiting technologies. It creates losses in revenue for these companies and also governing bodies via tax revenue. Medicines targeted by counterfeiters usually have high sales with low production costs and make it relatively easy for counterfeiters to distribute these medications in the supply chain. Medications with the capability to have high internet sales are attractive because online transactions provide low accountability to those involved in the counterfeiting trail. WHO estimate 50% of medicines available from sites which conceal their physical address are counterfeit. There are many ways counterfeiters acquire medications: • Used/expired medications allowing copies of packaging and drugs to be made • Purchase of generic products enabling them to alter them to the original brand • Dilution of branded drugs These medications are then filtered back into the supply chain via pharmaceutical distributors and wholesalers and also direct to consumer (DTC) through the internet. The effects of these counterfeits reaching patients is illness, deterioration of medical conditions, loss of life and an increase in pharmaceutical costs due to lost revenue and damage claims. Some types of Anti-counterfeiting technologies available are: Radio frequency identification (RFID), Taggants, Security printing, Holograms, Watermarks, Track and trace technologies, Tamper evident seals, 2D Barcodes Counterfeiting seems to be at its highest in Asia and Africa, the market is easier to penetrate and patients are lured in by low cost medication. Infiltration of counterfeits into the European and US market is not as high but according to WHO there has been 9 recalls in the past 3 years where counterfeits have reached patients and pharmacies1. At present there is limited legislation in Europe and the US regarding counterfeiting and Government mandates are difficult to initiate. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ATCA) is a good start with its primary objective to establishing international enforcement standards against counterfeits. Reasons to register: • review trends in counterfeit medications • examine counterfeit legislation and regulations – new updates/developments • discover ways to increase public awareness of counterfeits and the consequences that follow on from these purchase i.e. illness, deaths etc • investigate new technologies – how do these compare to 2D barcodes, holograms, RFID • learn about the online threats that exist to brand protection – what role do online pharmacies play in counterfeiting • review the supply chain, how can it be infiltrated and how important is the holistic view, what technologies could work to trace medications from manufacture to end-point delivery • assess the impact of the current economic climate on counterfeit – is this promoting counterfeit sales • examine the role of boarder patrols i.e. Interpol, Europol, customs – how are these agencies involved in anti-counterfeiting and what technologies do they use • discuss how anti-counterfeiting and intellectual property (IP) are related • investigate the possibilities of achieving authentication of products when they arrive at the end point – pharmacy • assess the effect of a growing use of technologies for advertising i.e social networking sites, do these make it easier for counterfeiters to view products and access them • discover if these new developments in technologies can play any role in helping to reduce counterfeiting in developing countries – Asia & Africa • review if the increase in production of medicines in Asia & India has corresponded in an increase in counterfeit medicines that could be traced to these countries • discover how to protect brand integrity when counterfeits are in the supply chain, how to keep patient confidence in your products • discuss how the parallel trade agreement affects counterfeit medications

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