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Manufacture Supply Chain, Packaging, Technology and Equipment, Digital Technologies

Search and Destroy

According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, the illicit market of counterfeit drugs has a global value of more than one trillion Euros – and consultancies in Europe estimate that this may grow to more than two trillion Euros by 2020 (1). Globalization has created the ideal conditions for the counterfeit drug industry to boom, with sales made easier through lower transportation costs and little or no marketing costs for counterfeiters in comparison to legitimate pharmaceutical businesses. Countries that lack effective drug regulatory agencies are seen as particularly easy targets by counterfeiters, but counterfeit medicines have also slipped into legitimate supply chains in Europe and the US too. Some pharma companies have retaliated with well-thought out strategies that involve strong investments in anti-counterfeiting technologies (both overt and covert) and awareness campaigns that educate consumers on how to spot counterfeit medicines – and how to report them – as well as how to buy medicines safely online. Many big pharma companies have dedicated anti-counterfeiting teams, but small and medium enterprises are often much less likely to respond to the dangers because of a lack of resources.

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About the Author

Joannis Manolopoulos

Life Science Manager SGS, Athens, Greece

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