Anti-counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Packaging imminent for Brand protection

A sustainable Culture of prevention and risk-mitigating best practices in companies that includes adoption high-end track-and-trace-technologies to control counterfeit activities

High-volume & low-value manufacturing calls for Anti-counterfeit technologies
Anti-counterfeit technologies and measures consist of all necessary remedial measures that aim at controlling and minimizing any counterfeit activities. World over, counterfeit activities result in considerable loss of revenue to illegal traders and unscrupulous profiteers; they eat up the genuine profits of the manufacturing company and market players, hamper the supply chain and promote unauthorized commerce and boost gray market. Not only is this, the most disturbing trend-the intangible damage– leads to tarnishing of the brand reputation of the concerned company. Brand protection measure, though at nascent stage, yet has emerged as an indispensable business function; and it is being considered as core competency by leading companies, manufacturers and brand owners to invest in. Pharmaceutical, cosmetics and personal care products have emerged as the most potential targets for these counterfeiters. The most prominent factor is – high-volume and low-value manufacturing nature of these markets.

Risk-mitigating best practices can counter counterfeit market
According to an on-demand webinar, MarkMonitor webinar held on March 23rd, 2016, executives involved in brand protection of top companies discuss strategies and perspectives that helped them to protect the brands against counterfeiting activities and loss of revenue due to gray market diversion. Stalwarts such as Johnson & Johnson urged different brand protection-minded companies to invest in devising enterprise-wide approach to anti-counterfeit of pharmaceuticals packaging. These activities may consist of: upgrading their skill sets, acquiring new authentication technologies like RFID and ePedigree, gathering necessary intelligence, refining their existing operating practices which includes adopting new track and trace technologies apart from holograms, inks and dyes.

The market players are shifting from cosmetics and personal care industry to premium beauty products and other routine skin care products sold across various local market; this has recently led to different emergent threats from counterfeiting affecting these local markets. 

Trends & Technologies-Recent Conferences 
The recent Pharmapack Conference, held in Paris last month, has covered prominent pharmaceutical packaging design trends related to anti-counterfeiting and tamper evidence efforts in track-and-trace technologies. The key themes included adoption of various anti-counterfeit technologies such as different high-end technologies in barcodes designing serialization technologies and combination products outsourcing, and their effect on boosting patient adherence and improving health outcomes. 
As per a FDA estimate, globally, about 10% of prescription medications considered legitimate otherwise are counterfeit. Last year, scientists at Northwestern University in Illinois have developed a tool– sophisticated fluorescent ink–that will help fight against counterfeit barcodes. The tool enable consumers to identify counterfeit pills by scanning its photo using smartphone.

Another similar kind of anti-counterfeit barcode–that could structurally be in-built into a pill or other product–was developed by researchers from the University of Bradford. U.K., in collaboration with Sofmat, market player making an anti-fraud technologies. As per a report by Allied Market Research titled “World Anti-counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Packaging Market - Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014 – 2020”, anti-counterfeit packaging (Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics) market, globally, has generated a revenue of $35.7 billion in 2014 and would grow at a CAGR of 15.7% over the forecast period.

Case for building a mechanism for anti-counterfeit in pharmaceuticals
The loss of counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals products and pills is more serious one and sometimes may lead to deaths. The infamous recall of tainted heparin drug manufactured by Baxter International in a plant in China, back in 2008, still merits attention and cause for concern–this led to deaths of more than 140 patients. 

The US Food and Drug Administration along with other regulators launched an investigation and devised a mechanism of analytical methods for assuring legitimacy of material. A new trend emerged: economically-motivated adulteration of APIs and drugs owing to ignorant traders and less effective supply chain management programs in the companies that source these drugs from other countries. These need a comprehensive vigilance programs that should include global and regional regulators, suppliers and manufactures and technology players that are engaged in providing different track-and-trace technologies. 

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