What Three Areas Demand Greater Focus When Combating Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals?
From high-demand drugs to life-saving treatments, it seems that none of today’s pharmaceuticals are safe from the threat of counterfeiting. And for pharmaceutical manufacturers that means a threat against both patient safety and brand performance. With no sign of a slowdown in the counterfeit drug market, here are three questions to ask yourself as you work to tighten your supply chain and secure it against this ever-present threat.
1. Product Packaging Innovation
Over the last 10 years, packaging providers started offering innovative technologies — both hidden and visible — to help authenticate products. These range from holograms to 2D barcoding and, now, radio frequency ID (RFID) tags that create an electronic chain of custody from the point of manufacture to the point of administration. Exploring how you can implement these solutions, particularly in light of new regulatory changes that affect the global supply chain, is one way you can protect your product.
2. Global Regulatory Fluency
Get savvy on international regulations and national initiatives. The U.S. and the EU are leading the way with regulatory solutions that combat counterfeiting. From the Falsified Medicines Directive, which was written into law in 2011 and strengthens checks on products and ingredients moving through the EU, to the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM) e-TACT program to track and trace the authenticity of medications, Europe is making great strides in medication safety and supply chain security.
In the U.S., the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) was signed into law in 2013 and requires full traceability solutions, among other progressive requirements, by 2023.
In addition, nations around the globe are implementing new strategies to fight counterfeiting. China, India and several countries in Africa—where both legitimate and counterfeit drugs are produced in high volume—are taking steps that include increasing penalties for counterfeiting, amending labeling requirements and improving pedigree-tracking technologies.
3. Strength of Logistics Partnerships
Perhaps the best approach to securing your supply chain is “closing the loop” by partnering with a single logistics provider — one that is able to manage all aspects of worldwide transport and storage for high-value products. Advantages of this strategy extend beyond enhanced control, trust and a transparent chain of custody. Manufacturers that consolidate their logistics partners also reduce unnecessary risk, while adding in-market representation and accountability in unpredictable geographies. The strongest logistics partners can offer an immediate answer to increasing supply chain security, while also incorporating packaging innovation and regulatory expertise.
To learn more about counterfeit drugs and the impact on the global pharmaceutical supply chain, read World Courier’s White Paper.