Growth of international free trade and inadequate drug regulations have led to the expansion of trade in counterfeit drugs worldwide. Technological protection is seen as the best way to avoid this problem. Different technologies came into existence like overt, covert, and track and trace technologies.
In the U.S., packaging companies have implemented RFID (Radio Frequency Infra-Red), while companies in Europe tend to use 2D barcodes. In an effort to prevent illegitimate drugs from entering into the supply chain, pharmaceutical companies have been employing these technologies. Griffin Rutgers has solutions for anti-counterfeit packaging coders to meet the specific needs of the pharmaceutical industry.
There are a great many anti-counterfeit technologies available to manufacturers and brand owners, ranging from the very simple but effective, to the highly sophisticated and extremely secure; the majority of which can be implemented on one or more of the packaging components. The purpose of an anti-counterfeit feature is primarily to enable the authentication of an item, either by industry investigators, or ideally, by the wider public.
The landscape within the anti-counterfeiting industry is changing, and packaging producers are acknowledging it. Federal guidelines are becoming more stringent, and it’s important to stay current on those changes.
Here’s a summary of the changes.
These three strategies are basic for protection. They can often be implemented together, therefore are not mutually exclusive. They also come with some limitations:
- Use law protection and enforcement to prevent counterfeiters from getting to the markets. To this group of provisions, attempts to move costs to the third parties, such as the market operators, can also be counted. Amazon, Alibaba and other big e-commerce companies now face lawsuits for failing to do enough to protect their markets against fakes.
Limitation: Such provision can lead to the destruction of some markets.
Moreover, law enforcement needs a kind of proof—so provisions from the next two strategies need to be implemented.
- Tracking and tracing each individual product from production through distributors and stores…up to second hand shops.
Limitation: Personal data protection and sometimes also business data protection.
A physical protective element needs to be added such as a 2D Code or RFID tag. Without one, it may happen that a user reads a QR [quick response] code and gets information about the history of the product but still cannot be sure that the product has not been replaced.
- Adding protective elements so that a customer can differentiate between genuine and fake on his/her own
Limitations: Some customers buy fakes intentionally.
Demand for packaging with anti-counterfeit features will grow. Packaging suppliers will be asked for a recommendation of most suitable elements. Selection of elements must be based on knowledge of inspecting persons. It is critical that the protection fits their abilities.
At Griffin-Rutgers, we can help you choose the correct coding system for your anti-counterfeit packaging. To discuss your particular need, contact us and let us put our 50 years of experience in providing printing, coding, and labeling solutions to work for you.