Countering the counterfeiters

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The distribution of counterfeit medicine is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest threats. It is believed that seven per cent of all medicines world-wide are counterfeit.

Andre Grigjanis, managing director of IBS Pharma, says: “At last, technology is coming to the industry’s aid to help better control medicines, with a range of packaging and labelling products becoming available to tackle the problem. However, making sure this technology is fully integrated into the pharmaceutical supply chain is the only way to ensure companies gain a full track and tracing solution that will effectively deal with counterfeiting.

“These solutions are also essential for dealing with potential future threats to the pharmaceutical industry. People expect instant availability of their medicines, yet with potential massive requirements for products such as a vaccine for the avian flu virus, which is expected to return more strongly – how well can the industry actually cope?

“Information is out there, in recall scenarios, government stocks and in national/regional trends surveys, which will help, but this information needs to be consolidated. Pharmaceutical companies need a complete tracing solution using IT systems that can handle the flow of data through the various databases, as well as integrate them with any of the electronic labelling technologies.”

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