What Defines a Successful Fuel Authentication Solution


By Kristi Browne, Senior Vice President, Services, Oil & Gas, Authentix

Certain operational functions and services are essential for an end-to-end fuel authentication solution that helps you mitigate risks to maximize revenue and gain a competitive advantage.

Protecting your brand is critical to thriving in today’s complex supply and distribution chain. When your branded fuel leaves the terminal, you expect it to be of the highest quality and purity. You also expect the same of the fuel that is provided to your customers at the pump. But in the downstream fuel supply chain, there are many variables that can negatively impact fuel integrity – putting both your revenue and brand’s reputation at risk. Without the right tools and technology to detect manipulation, you can never really be sure if what you’re delivering to your consumers are what they are expecting.

Unfortunately, fuel manipulation is not uncommon as the oil and gas industry operates with increasingly complex supply chains. And it’s easy to lose control of complex systems. When fuel enters your supply chain, it moves through fuel terminals to wholesalers and retailers that may include franchisees, oil marketing companies, sub-distributors, carriers, open dealers, and independent store owners. Fuel manipulation can occur at any stage of that journey.

Fuel marking is a very effective way to protect your brand from manipulation. A successful fuel authentication solution identifies both intended manipulation and inadvertent quality problems at distribution terminals with the use of advanced fuel markers and analyzers. But taking a proactive approach and determining the right authentication solution to fit your specific organization’s needs can seem daunting. Where do you begin? Developing an in-house solution is likely not feasible due to the lack of necessary tools and expertise. So how do you find the right partner to help you defend your supply chain from fuel manipulation? The key is choosing a partner that intimately understands your industry and your challenges and can provide comprehensive services and support – from strategy to implementation and beyond.

Get advice from a pro

Because the downstream supply chain is so complex, a fuel authentication solution is not going to come “off the shelf.” That means you’re going to want to partner with an organization that listens to and understands your specific needs and can draw from experience in solving all fuel manipulation problems, even the most complex. This knowledge will allow them to define your problem, then establish goals for the best solution to solve it.

Choose some design wizards

When designing your fuel authentication solution, the partner you choose should have a large “toolkit” so that they can pick and choose which tools and technologies should be included in your solution. When they have a breadth of advanced options in both overt and covert marking and analyzer systems, a range of technology (without being “married” to any specific one), and the flexibility to make changes as circumstances change, odds are they will develop and implement a solution that works for you. Of course, needs differ from company to company. You may have an urgent need for a legally-defensible, lab-authentication-based fuel marker. Or you may need instantaneous field authentication. You might even need both. A good fuel authentication partner will provide you all the options that lead to a successful outcome.

Follow great planning with great implementation

It’s not unheard of for fuel authentication programs to look good on paper but fall well short in the real world so it’s vitally important that your authentication partner has a great track record in implementation. This includes executing the solution as designed, deploying the right technology and tools, training your field personnel as needed, and managing the implementation process from beginning to end.

Choose a partner that stays with you for the long haul

A great authentication partner is never going to put your solution in place, brush their hands off, and walk away. They’re going to stay by your side to provide operational support, measure results, perform periodic auditing, and assign a dedicated resource to oversee the program. They should be unequivocally invested in your success.

Expect data that you can act on

Your authentication partner should provide a robust information system that uses sophisticated data analytics and intelligent reporting capabilities to enable you to make informed decisions and take the proper corrective action to best address the fuel manipulation problem over time. Advanced technology and a sound strategy are essential to shutting out fuel manipulation. With the right fuel authentication partner, you can confidently protect your brand and product from the terminal to the pump.

Kristi Browne is Senior Vice President, Services, Oil & Gas, at Authentix, the authority in authentication solutions. Authentix helps you thrive in supply and distribution chain complexity by providing advanced authentication solutions for governments, central banks and commercial products. These solutions ensure that local economies grow, banknote security remains intact, and commercial products have robust market opportunities. Our partnership approach and proven sector expertise inspires proactive innovation, helping you mitigate risks to promote revenue growth and gain competitive advantage.

Is it Worth the Risk?


As long as you know the risks and can bridge the gaps…

Whether you’re a superhero or a pharmaceutical manufacturer, risk is unavoidable. It can’t be ignored, but it can be managed. One of the biggest risks you face involves counterfeit medicines. They are a $200 billion annual business—that means they are the largest segment of fraudulent goods sold worldwide every year.

One of the major reasons for counterfeit medicines is the complexity of the pharmaceutical supply chain, which can have multiple tiers of suppliers and several geographic destinations. That’s why it is becoming increasing important to ensure the integrity of your pharmaceutical supply chain to close the gap on counterfeit medicines.

It’s true that effective, FDA-accepted technologies exist for both packaging and the pharmaceutical products themselves. But technology by itself is not enough. You also need a comprehensive risk assessment strategy to make the successful leap to prevention, early detection, and effective prosecution.

Proactively identifying which medicines are “at risk” of being counterfeited is the first step in understanding potential threats, and where the gaps are in your supply chain. First understand which of your high-value medicines are at risk, and then rank them according to their risk level. This will provide you the data needed to allocate the proper resources to eliminate those risks.

Authentix can help you manage counterfeit risks with our proven expertise and innovative authentication solutions. We’ve helped our customers mitigate risks to maximize revenues and build a competitive advantage.

Take our Risk Assessment Survey and find out which of your high-value drugs are at risk, and how we can help you protect them.

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Life is better with the Right Authentication Strategy


Establish “authentication empowerment” with an end-to-end, customized program that instantly authenticates suspicious medicines, when and where it matters most.

By: Chad Crouch, Vice President of Sales, Authentix, Inc.

If you doubt that the counterfeiting of pharmaceutical medicines is a monumental problem, take a look at these statistics: counterfeit pharmaceuticals are now a $200 billion annual business, and about one million people die each year after taking counterfeit pharmaceuticals.1 It’s a big problem and isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s extremely profitable—that means it has attracted some pretty sharp individuals who can match your product packaging in a blink of an eye. So, if they haven’t hit your company yet, chances are they will try real soon. Be prepared for when that happens.

Without an authentication solution in place, you’ll find that the costs of resolving such an incident are unpredictable and unbudgeted. You won’t have processes in place to deal with counterfeit products that weaken your supply chain and have unclear consequences for your distribution chain. And the various departments within your company will not know how to coordinate efforts to combat the counterfeiters. In a word, you’ll have no checks and balances in place.

The good news is, you and your company don’t have to live that way. If you find the right authentication partner, and together plan and implement an end-to-end, customized solution to deal with counterfeiting, it can be a productive relationship. Instead of reacting to incidents, you’ll be proactive, with a wealth of tools already in place to take on the bad guys:

  • Financial resources will already be allocated
  • Authentication processes will instantly act on suspicious medicines
  • Supply chain will be stronger
  • Distribution chain more transparent
  • Internal departments will be empowered to act in concert and get a handle on the problem

If you make the right move and choose the right authentication partner, then work together to develop and implement the right authentication solution for your company, here’s what you can expect to see moving forward:

  • Improved analysis of suspicious medicines and packaging
  • Rapid matching of samples against your predetermined standard
  • More secure supply chain with process improvements/improved visibility in upstream and downstream directions
  • Internal processes understood and monitored
  • New sources of data developed that fuel ongoing process improvements

Don’t let the pharmaceutical counterfeiters make your company their next victim. By acting instead of reacting, you can stay one step ahead of the bad guys. The best way to act is to implement an end-to-end authentication solution that’s customized to meet the unique demands of your organization. Contact us to become your company’s authentication hero today.


  1. Fighting counterfeit pharmaceuticals: New defenses for an underestimated – and growing – menace, Peter Behner, Dr. Marie-Lyn Hecht, Dr. Fabian Wahl, 201

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Get Instant Authentication of your Pharmaceutical Products


With the right partner, you can design and implement an end-to-end, customized authentication program and put it to work quickly. Go from zero to hero in weeks. 

By Andrzej Hornostaj, VP Brand Solutions, Authentix, Inc.

If you were part of the pharmaceutical industry in 2002, you will remember the Procrit® counterfeiting case. If you weren’t, here’s a brief recap: Procrit, a clear liquid that at the time cost about $500 an injection, was used to treat severe anemia (often in very sick patients with cancer or AIDS). Its manufacturer was alerted to a suspicious product in the field. While the suspicious product could not be instantly identified in the field, investigation confirmed fairly quickly that it was counterfeit—and much more was to be found in the supply chain.

In one instance, counterfeiters had copied Procrit labels and packaging and had filled vials with water. Some of the vials comprised genuine Procrit containers scavenged from bags of medical waste. In another case, the counterfeiters had relabeled bottles to substitute a weak dosage for a much more expensive, concentrated one. A prosecutor estimated that the switch might have made the counterfeiters a tidy $46 million in profit. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of the counterfeit medication was ever recovered.1

The Procrit manufacturer responded to the crisis as quickly and efficiently as they could. In 23 days, they were able to authenticate the suspicious medicine in their lab, repackage it with security features and ship. Here’s the timeline for their response:

  • Day 1: Suspicious medicine reported
  • Day 2: Package confirmed as counterfeit
  • Day 3: All Procrit shipments halted, sent back and new security features authorized
  • Day 9: New labels received
  • Day 11: Equipment procured and set up in warehouse
  • Day 23: Procrit with new packaging shipped out

This reaction was considered “world class” at the time—but it still caused massive disruption to the Procrit supply chain and effected over 200 employees. Why? Because the company’s response was reactive, not proactive. The critical factor was this: when the suspicious product was initially discovered, it could not be instantly authenticated in the field.

In the years since the Procrit case, the problem of counterfeit pharmaceuticals has grown exponentially as the “bad guys” devise increasingly sophisticated and hard-to-detect counterfeiting schemes. A proactive solution and instant authentication have to be the goals for any pharmaceutical company that doesn’t want to be at the complete mercy of the counterfeiters in 2018 and beyond.

How close is your company to taking a proactive approach to identifying suspicious medicines in the field?

To answer that question, you must first ask:

  • What do we have in place to authenticate a suspicious medicine when it’s reported in the field?
  • How quick and supply-chain-wide is our response?
  • How much time does it take to authenticate?
  • What security features do we currently lack that would help us authenticate instantly?
  • How complex would such a system need to be?
  • Have the stakeholders in our company bought into the concept of instant authentication?
  • What is the ROI outlook?

It might seem it would take you forever just to answer these questions, much less develop an authentication strategy and implement it. Your options are to find a partner to help you develop the right authentication strategy and implement it or hope that the counterfeiters don’t get around to counterfeiting your products. The only problem is, they will. And when they do, it will be disruptive.

In reality, answering all those questions and developing an instant authentication solution isn’t as difficult as it may seem—if you’re working with the right partner. The right partner will devise an effective strategy and guide you along the way to implementation and beyond. The key point is finding the partner willing to work with you and your third-party vendors to establish a customized program that will make instant authentication a standard operating procedure. To accomplish this, the program must include design, seamless implementation, and operational and ongoing support.

Your ideal partner will have a complete understanding of the pharmaceutical industry in general and your business in particular. They will become an integrated part of your team and extend that support to your third-party vendors. They’ll be agile enough to adapt to your culture, your unique challenges, and your particular processes.

Here’s what the authentication planning/implementation process should look like:

  • Your partner will work with you to create an end-to-end, customized plan and budget.
  • They will demonstrate the ability to print security feature samples for internal demonstration and buy-in.
  • They will be completely independent so they can work with all of your third-party vendors without interruption.
  • They will help you seamlessly implement your authentication plan, which will include:
          • Execution across your entire global supply chain
          • Training and enablement for everyone involved
          • The flexibility to expand and grow with your changing needs

With the right authentication partner by your side, and with the right authentication solution in place, you can make instant authentication a reality. Instead of reacting to incidents, you’ll be in proactive mode. You can go from zero to authentication hero, staying one step ahead of the counterfeiters and thwarting their most villainous schemes.

Contact us today to go from zero to authentication hero in weeks.

Download PDF Here

Andrzej Hornostaj is VP Brand Solutions at Authentix, a leading global authentication and information services company. Authentix assists its customers in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, by combating illicit trade and managing the integrity of their global supply chains. Using comprehensive end-to-end authentication solutions, Authentix safeguards industry leaders worldwide from counterfeiting, product theft, product diversion, and adulteration.


1 Dangerous Doses: How Counterfeiters are Contaminating America’s Drug Supply, Katherine Eban, 2005

Superhero Plan


They might not want to admit it, but even superheroes need a plan. And let’s face it—they’re people of action, not necessarily the best planners. If they’re lucky, they have a sidekick who can take care of the planning and preparation of things, so their mission is a success.

Think about Green Hornet for a minute. You remember how he was always ready to jump into the thick of it, tangle with the bad guys, and not hesitate for a second? Good thing he had his trusty sidekick, Kato, to come up with an effective plan. It wasn’t always a complex plan—just the right plan for the situation.

If you want to be your company’s authentication superhero, maybe you need a sidekick—with the right plan.

The clock is ticking.

Picture this: a distress signal comes in about a suspicious medicine in the field. You need to know what’s real…and what isn’t. And the clock is ticking. There isn’t enough time for a labor-intensive authentication method. But when is there? Time isn’t on your side and you need a plan to instantly authenticate that product in lightning speed.

Who can be your trusted sidekick? Your planning and preparation expert? Your authentication partner?

So many questions. But just one answer: Authentix!

Authentix can help you customize a plan to start battling the villains and initiate your superhero powers.

Up and running in a month.

Think such as plan would be too hard to implement? Think again. With Authentix as your partner, we can have your empowerment solution up and running within 30 days.

We thrive in complexity.

We know you operate in a very complex environment of global suppliers and distributors. That doesn’t scare us. We’ll tailor your solution and perform a print trial to make sure it works perfectly in your complex world of suppliers and systems.

And 90 percent of the time, jobs are ready to go immediately after the print trial.

Global implementation across the supply chain is followed by training, enablement, ongoing support and the monitoring and interpretation of results. Being the perfect partner, we’ll make it easier than you ever thought possible. (Right, Green Hornet?)

In true superhero style, Authentix is the partner with the right plan to boost your authentication powers!

Watch our video and discover how Authentix can work with you to develop the right plan.

Contact us today to collaborate on the right plan.

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Discover the Right Authentication Solution that will Save Time, Millions and Lives.


Time is never on your side when your pharmaceutical product is counterfeited and your brand reputation is at stake.

By: Cheryl Smith-Johnson, Brand Marketing Manager, Authentix, Inc.

The World Health Organization recently passed along some pretty alarming news: it cited statistics claiming that global sales of counterfeit pharmaceutical products could top $75 billion this year. That’s a 90% increase over the last five years! More than likely, your pharmaceutical company is in the process of addressing this growing problem. It’s critical that you adopt effective measures that prevent counterfeiting (below you’ll find a guide to some of the best tools available). The counterfeiters plaguing the pharmaceutical world are resourceful and relentless. Chances are, a counterfeit version of one of your products will eventually make its way into the marketplace. That’s when the ability to react swiftly becomes paramount—to beat the bad guys, you must have the right tools in place to instantly authenticate suspicious packages in the field, where and when it matters most.

You’ve heard the cliché, “Timing is everything”. That certainly holds true in the pharmaceutical world. When the authentication of your product takes too long, it can be extremely damaging to the patients who depend on your products for their health, to your revenue stream, and to your brand reputation. So, what’s the best route to being able to instantly authenticate your products in the field? By choosing the right authentication solution for your company. You have many options—here’s a look at the different tool sets that can assist you in authenticating suspicious packages reported in the field:

Authentication technologies that work

Overt security features are visible to the naked eye, allowing health professionals and patients to easily identify the authenticity of the package. For overt features to be effective in identifying a counterfeit product, health professionals and patients must know what they are looking for when they inspect a package. Consequently, public education and awareness are very important elements of any overt security plan. Solutions commonly employed for overt security include:

  • Optically-variable inks
  • Pearlescent inks
  • Gold and silver inks
  • Anti-tampering technologies (tamper-evident closures and labels)
  • Optical security technologies (holographic seals and labels)

Covert security features utilize an image invisible to the naked eye, often printed with security inks on primary and/or secondary packaging. These security inks can only be detected using a device. Examples of security components and inks include:

  • Heat-activated inks
  • Color-revealing inks
  • Light-activated inks
  • Fugitive inks
  • UV-activated inks

Forensic markers, being covert organic compounds, are not readily recognizable and require special tools for detection and validation. Whereas machine-readable taggants can be detected in the field, forensic markers must often be taken to a laboratory with specialized equipment. The use of forensic markers allow companies like yours to pursue legal actions against counterfeiters, conduct private investigations and cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

Serialization Track and Trace and Anti-Diversion solutions use two-dimensional data matrix codes and radio-frequency identity tagging. Each product is assigned a unique identifying code during the manufacturing process that allows it to be tracked, traced, verified, and recalled if necessary. Serialization “track and trace” methodology provides a basic security coverage, but it is likely to fall short of the overall goal of keeping the pharmaceutical supply chain free and clear of counterfeit drugs. Counterfeiters have access to the best printers and can easily copy unique codes and apply them to their counterfeit products. To combat them and create greater security in your supply chain, you must strengthen your anti-counterfeiting efforts by combining multiple authentication features.

Online monitoring: The Internet is one of the primary avenues counterfeiters use to pass off their counterfeit products to consumers. Keeping ahead of the counterfeiters is becoming more challenging in this space. Implementing a comprehensive online monitoring platform can help you quickly identify sites that are taking advantage of your brand, remove the counterfeit links, provide appropriate enforcement measures and help reduce online abuse.

It’s important to look for an online monitoring system that has internal and external capabilities to monitor dark web and gray web activities related specifically to online pharmacies. A constant review of the data is imperative to understand where breaches are taking place.

Choose an end-to-end authentication platform with “super powers”

Any of the solutions mentioned above will help authenticate a suspicious package reported in the field—but to stay ahead of the bad guys, you’re going to need more. You’re going to need an authentication platform with some serious power.

When you adopt this kind of customized authentication platform, you’re taking a proactive approach that combines the best available technologies—providing you with the “authentication super powers” needed to protect patients and your brand reputation. You’ll have access to an integrated set of software applications designed to enable successful deployment and operation of an authentication program. You’ll be able to act based upon brand insights that are aggregated, analyzed and reported directly to the smartphones, tablets and computers of your team. Best of all, you’ll be able to perform instant, in-field authentication allowing you to take immediate action.

Implementing a multi-layer approach takes you one step closer to successfully combating counterfeit products. This type of approach combines proven authentication tools with accurate data collection and analytics, providing you with authentication empowerment to save the day.

Remember, timing is everything. Having the right customized authentication solution will provide you with a proactive process that will save you time and, quite possibly, lives. When you can identify, and remove counterfeit products quickly, you’re bound to become your company’s authentication hero.

Contact us today and become an authentication hero.

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SLAM the counterfeiters and become your company’s Authentication Hero!


Batman’s a guy with some pretty awesome super powers. And, without doubt, a very cool ride. But maybe you didn’t know that he never learned how to tune up the Batmobile. So until his trusted partner Robin came along, the Batmobile spent most of its time gathering dust in the Batcave. Public transit is no way for a superhero to make a quick appearance when a villain is on the loose.

You’re expected to be your company’s authentication hero. You’ve already got awesome powers, to be sure, but maybe you need a resourceful partner to maximize them, just like Batman did.

Because time is the villain you’ve got to wrestle into submission. When you’re waiting to authenticate suspicious products in the field, every hour that ticks by is a threat to patient safety, to your supply chain, and to your brand reputation. And that ticking clock leads directly to lost revenue, too. It’s mighty hard to beat the counterfeiters by yourself. You need the right partner.

Team up to SLAP the bad guys silly.

Authentix can be that trusted partner (seven of the top global pharmaceutical organizations already trust us). We know your company is counting on you to stop the counterfeiters anyway you can, and we can help with our industry-proven program to halt illicit trade anywhere in your supply chain—with just the click of a button.

In other words, we can be Robin to your Batman and help you instantly authenticate a product in the field. Our end-to-end custom solution ensures your organization is protected against counterfeit activities when it happens, when it matters most.

WHAM! All the tools you need are right here.

We offer a comprehensive set of tools to make sure your authentication vehicle is running right:

  • Consultative services
  • Customized solution
  • Third-party certification and support
  • Implementation
  • Training and enablement
  • Ongoing support

With the right partner, you’re on your way to becoming an authentication superhero. You’ll be able to:

  • Instantly identify real drugs from fake ones
  • Digitally capture authentication data
  • Identify lost revenue in order to drive legitimate sales throughout the supply chain

Watch our video and see how you can save the day by getting answers in seconds, not days or weeks!

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6 tips for Selecting the Right Brand Protection Authentication Partner


If your pharmaceutical products haven’t been counterfeited yet, someone will probably try to soon. That’s why you need the right authentication partner.

By: Cheryl Smith-Johnson, Brand Marketing Manager, Authentix, Inc.

2012: The makers of the cancer-fighting medication Avastin notify physicians that a counterfeit version of the medication has been discovered that does not contain the active ingredient of the drug.1

2008: A counterfeit version of the blood thinner heparin appears. The active ingredient was replaced with a cheaper substance that was suspected to be the cause of up to 81 deaths and resulted in a nationwide recall of the medication. The U.S.-based firm that sold heparin was subjected to 740 lawsuits, and eventually was compelled to sell off the division that marketed the drug.2

Those are the big cases that you are undoubtedly familiar with, and they demonstrate without a doubt that counterfeit medications are a big problem. They cost pharmaceutical companies billions and make people sick, prevent them from getting better, or even kill them. Counterfeits are a pervasive problem. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30% of the pharmaceuticals sold in parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America are counterfeit. In 2011, 64% of antimalarial drugs in Nigeria were discovered to be counterfeit. In fact, an estimated 10% of all medicines worldwide are counterfeit.
In most counterfeiting cases, the pharmaceutical companies involved have reacted timely and decisively. But, as with any crime, prevention is infinitely preferable to even the swiftest reaction. That’s not to say that prevention is easy. Keeping counterfeits out of the market is hard. For example, in the U.S., almost 40% of our pharmaceuticals are manufactured elsewhere, and about 80% of their active ingredients are imported. The rise of internet pharmacies, where many consumers turn for lower prices, makes regulation of drug safety more difficult. Many pharmaceutical products pass through a complex, globally-dispersed distribution network, making it easier for counterfeits to enter the legitimate supply chain. What makes counterfeit prevention more difficult than anything else is the fact that drug counterfeiting, due to its high profitability, attracts some very smart people. The “bad guys” can match your product packaging in a blink of an eye, and they’re always looking for new ways to stay one step ahead of you.

As your company’s brand protector, you’re the one standing between the counterfeiters, patient safety and your brand’s reputation. Don’t go it alone. You need a reputable authentication partner to help get you out of “reaction mode” and develop a proactive process that includes instant authentication. Here are six tips for finding the right authentication partner:

1. Pharmaceutical expertise, knowledge and experience are essential

Choose an authentication partner that offers consultative services—it’s critical that your partner has experience with pharmaceutical products and understands your industry inside and out. Your partner should fully understand your challenges, articulate your exact problems, and work with you to set goals for your program. In this way, a trusted relationship can be established that will provide:

  • Common vision for the goals, resources and time management of your authentication plan
  • Knowledge transfer on key topics such as global regulations and advanced technologies
  • Development of a realistic risk assessment matrix
  • Proactive approach to managing your supply chain and preventing problems

2. “Off-the-shelf” won’t work

Select an authentication partner who can fully customize a solution to fit not only the unique challenges of the pharmaceutical industry, but also the needs of your specific organization. Your partner should have the necessary expertise on what types of security features are needed for different types of medical packaging, such as tamper-evidence seals, blister foils, vials, etc. This will allow you to take a proactive approach to combating counterfeit medicines. Look for a partner who offers:

  • State-of-the-art color marking systems
  • Multi-layered security features
  • Monitoring and enforcement plan
  • Ability to function properly in a multi-channel distribution environment

3. Expect outstanding business intelligence

Your ideal authentication partner should provide, in addition to the physical layer, a data analytics platform that can adapt as needed and employs the highest data quality standards. Actionable insights will allow you to make proactive decisions that will protect patients and your brand reputation—and give you the ability to reinvest dollars into other areas. The platform should be able to:

  • Aggregate and analyze data
  • Deliver insights directly to interested parties via their smartphones, tablets, and computers
  • Utilize the M3 (Mark, Monitor and Measure) process

4. Look for an enabler

More than likely, your current supply chain is complicated and has lots of moving parts. A good authentication partner should be able to instantly integrate within that chain. In addition, the partner should be a “third-party agnostic” solution integrator without any prejudice towards other links in your supply chain. This partner will be able to objectively analyze your supply chain, identify where potential problems lay, and make recommendations on correcting them. Look for the following attributes:

  • Third-party printer, logistic partner certification and support
  • Integration with existing systems and manufacturers
  • Trial runs that provide actual samples for testing purposes/quality assurance

5. Remember that implementation is everything

A smart authentication plan is great, but some potential partners are great at planning and not-so-great at implementing their plan. It’s important to link up with a partner with extensive, and documented, experience in implementing a strategy. They should have a resume consisting of several multi-year relationships with their customers. In addition, your partner must understand your business inside out, become an integrated part of your team, and extend that support to your third-party vendors. You need a partner who is flexible enough to adapt to your culture, your challenges, and processes. A good implementation strategy should encompass:

  • Execution across your entire global supply chain
  • Training and enablement for all involved parties
  • Flexibility to expand and grow with your changing needs

6. Build an ongoing relationship

If you think you can find a partner, develop an effective authentication strategy, implement it, and then abandon that partner, think again. The counterfeiters will always be devising new ways of beating you. You need an ongoing relationship with your partner to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. It’s absolutely critical to work with a partner who offers ongoing customer support after the initial deal is done. An established, trusted customer support strategy is the only way for your program to succeed long-term. It should include:

  • Dedicated project manager to handle programs
  • Security features testing
  • Ability to retain sample programs to ensure consistency
  • Ongoing reports and result interpretation that provide actionable insights
  • Regular auditing of third-party vendors for proper use of security materials

Regardless of who you select as your authentication partner, remember to discuss everything of importance up front and in detail. To help you do that, we have developed a downloadable checklist that will help you select the most compatible authentication partner for your pharmaceutical company.

Reducing the availability of counterfeit medicines is not easy—but it is necessary. The only way to get a grip on the pharmaceutical counterfeiting problem is for all the stakeholders involved— those within your company, third-party supply chain vendors, and of course your authentication partner—to cooperate fully in designing and implementing effective authentication methods. As always, timing is everything. Instant authentication can save you precious time when a possible counterfeiting incident occurs. And the time to find your best authentication partner is now. Contact us today.

  1. NCBI/American Health & Drug Benefits, The Health and Economic Effects of Counterfeit Drugs, 2014 Jun
  2. NCBI/American Health & Drug Benefits, The Health and Economic Effects of Counterfeit Drugs, 2014 Jun

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Two Trillion Liters of Insight- Preventing Illicit Fuel Trade


Illicit fuel trade is a major, global challenge within the oil and gas industry, the consequences of these unlawful actions being pervasive, from environmental damage to depriving governments of customs and tax revenues and actively supporting illegal activities.

The first Oil & Fuel Theft Summit was held in Geneva in April 2018 which helped to create discourse between high-level stakeholders within the hydrocarbons industry on how we can fight this revenue depriving delinquency. Authentix was a corporate sponsor of the event, where our team provided understandings on the issue, encouraging collaboration and drawing attention to this subject, we sought to deepen awareness.

Authentix insights into combatting fuel trade spans our experience over the last 20 years protecting more than two trillion liters of product in that time.

As the authority in authentication since 1998, Authentix’s extensive, proven experience in public and private sector authentication solutions ensures the programs implemented for our customers are comprehensive, technologically advanced and professionally executed.

We believe a system of fair and open commerce is an agent for good in the world, when that system is compromised civil society is weakened. We feel our company’s beliefs and mission help to ultimately combat illicit fuel trade.

Illicit operators go to where the money can be made. The mechanics of fuel fraud allows for this since price arbitrage drives the opportunity for offenders. In Mexico for example, taking stolen product and selling it approximates to USD4B industry per annum. In Ireland, criminals take subsidized diesel remove dye markers and transport it across neighboring borders to be sold as fully taxed diesel and pocket the price difference. Selling unbranded fuel as branded fuel, dilution or adulteration the possibilities are abundant for criminals to profit. The problem is huge, and the typical illicit trade rate which we have seen in serving our customers is usually about 30%.

In the European Union lubricating oils can be moved without being monitored by Excise Movement and Control System because they are not subject to excise tax in the EU and only a few States apply national taxation on these products. Fraudsters manufacture and transport lubricating oil throughout the EU and then introduce it in the mainstream network and sell it as automotive diesel fuel with the consequential evasion of excise duties.

Technology alone is not the solution. Understanding the job to be done, the desired outcomes to be achieved and how we apply technology to realize those outcomes is the way Authentix helps customers be the heroes.

Customers want to understand where their problems are and what they need to do to solve them.

Fuel markers and field analyzers are a part of the solution but translating data into actionable insights to combat illicit trade is key. Our Authentix Information System (AXIS) is an integrated set of software applications that collects data from testing performed on fuel samples, combined with fuel volume and pricing and other information which allows for intelligent analysis to be done which deliver those actionable insights.

Authentix Services and Support is available to our customers throughout the program and includes advisory services, design services, implementation services, and operational support.

Subsidized fuel looks exactly like full priced fuel, branded fuel looks exactly like unbranded fuel. So, marking fuels is important, since it enables the efficient determination of the identity of fuel products. Fuel marking as a tool within a program is cost effective and makes sense. The proper application of this technology lends to the idea of – its less of what you have but more of what you know from it.

Authentix’s roots are as an analytical chemistry company. Our core capability in developing robust molecular markers, purpose built to withstand adulteration and illicit filtering methods, has earned us the reputation as the premier covert marker developer.

Understanding the desired outcome of a program is significant to our goal at Authentix whether it be protection of a subsidized product, ensuring quality throughout the supply chain, trying to increase the collection of excise taxes or trying to stop smuggling, we focus on devising solutions that address our customer’s needs.

It may sound complicated and customers may seem overwhelmed with available technology solutions on the market, various types of programs being offered but our advice at Authentix is – Do Something!

There are simple approaches to begin deterring illicit activity. Making the issue more visible and having offenders understand the consequences involved in being complicit in this behavior is a preventive move and minimizes the problem. This menace is not going away till we do something.

Elevating Your Brand Protection Strategy with Multilayered Security Solutions


By: Jeff Conroy, Chief Scientist, Authentix

Many companies are thinking more broadly about how to implement coordinated anti-counterfeiting, anti-diversion strategies across their brands and throughout different regions of the world. Just as tamper-evident seals on bottles of pills and liquid formulations became more common due to a tampering scare in the 1980s, attitudes toward anti-counterfeiting technologies are beginning to evolve.

Once viewing such measures narrowly as an “extra feature” that only “added cost” to the bottom line, brand owners are beginning to realize the importance of protecting the integrity of their brands and the most important part of the equation: protecting the safety of consumers. As serialization technologies continue to evolve, the tracking of individual units through the supply chain could enable very secure and traceable evidence of authentic products being supplied by manufacturers and distributors to end users.

Different Features, Different Purpose

Anti-counterfeiting features that can authenticate products are both overt and covert, and they can be applied in numerous ways: on labels, onto closure seals, on cartons where containers of products are stored, into plastic parts of individual packaging, and even onto metal and glass components of packaging.

The different types of features all serve a different purpose, from enabling end users to quickly identify a branded product as genuine, to covert markings that enable a manufacturer or inspector to identify the source of diversion or other illicit activity. When combined with the careful design and production quality controls used in authentic product manufacturing, these features raise the bar of complexity for counterfeiters and make the product a less attractive target.

With that said, it’s worth considering the value of individual security features versus a multilayered approach.

Overt security features: Visible security features serve a valuable purpose in the authentication stack. They offer a way for individuals to inspect packaging without any specialized tools, and the specialized color-shifting inks (similar to those used on currency) are often difficult to reproduce using scanners or reprographic methods. There are other types of optically variable features as well, including holograms, micro-optics (like the blue stripe found on the current US $100 bill), and reflective features.

Visible security features are a starting point, but counterfeiters are extremely creative and clever. Even if a visible authentication feature is hard to recreate perfectly, a counterfeiter only needs to copy it closely enough to confuse a consumer who just gives a package a quick glance. Additional features create layers of security.

Covert security features: High security covert features can be embedded into labels, closure seals, or other features of product packaging. Although such markers are invisible to the naked eye, they can be detected using specialized handheld surface spectrophotometers. Field instruments use proprietary excitation and detection optics and detection algorithms for rapid, secure field authentication. Additional forensic layers of security are also embedded into the materials and can be confirmed through more extensive laboratory analysis. This additional layer of security proves very difficult for the counterfeiter, but easily verified by field inspectors.

Serialization: In the serialization process, a company marks individual units at the point of manufacture (giving each a unique serial number) and implements stations to read those markings, capture the tracking data, and drop that information into a managed database that allows authorized personnel to monitor where products go after they leave the manufacturing facility. You’re probably most familiar with this process as it applies to shipping a package overnight, when you can track it on the Internet until it reaches its destination.

An effective anti-counterfeiting solution contains multiple, layered components

As a brand owner, it’s good to have options. However, the counterfeiter also has options. Fortunately, technology continues to evolve to help you protect your end users. Today’s reality is that one level of security isn’t enough.

Recently a number of technologies have become available that offer the benefit of not having to add any additional features to the packaging, but the imaging requirements on the production lines can be quite demanding and difficult to implement at speed. Once captured, the identification of the package can take place with conventional cameras, allowing widespread authentication and tracking by inspectors, retailers, or even consumers.

Any combination of covert or overt features or serialization enhance your anti-counterfeiting, anti-diversion strategies. Click here to learn more about brand protection. You can also contact Authentix at info@authentix.com.