Pharmaceutical Case Study

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Counterfeiters threaten $1 billion pipeline of medicine.

You are your company’s brand protection manager. Counterfeit copies of one of your major pharmaceutical brands turn up in the U.S. market. You have no security measures in place to allow patients or inspectors to tell the real stuff from the fake. Consequently, $1 billion worth of your product, already in the distribution pipeline, can’t be sold—at least not until you come up with some method of allowing patients and retailers to verify that your medicine is actually authentic.

Patient safety, your company’s hard-earned reputation not to mention $1 billion in sales are all under severe threat. Time to send out a SOS.

This is exactly the situation one of our customers found themselves in. And when they came to us for help, Authentix answered the call. Our customer desperately needed a way to instantly authenticate medicines in the field. No problem, we said.

We immediately jumped into action. The customer’s product was repackaged to include a variety of authentication features that could be identified by patients and inspectors, both in the field and in the laboratory. These included:

  • Overt, color-shifting inks can be readily distinguished by patients.
  • Covert, machine-readable inks can be detected in the field by inspection staff with appropriate readers.
  • Forensic markers can only be detected under laboratory analysis.
A happy ending

The Authentix solution to our customer’s counterfeiting problem provided a secure means of instantly identifying authentic from counterfeit medicines. The benefits were immediate and significant:

  • $1 billion worth of product frozen within the supply chain was released for sale
  • The expense of a full product recall was averted
  • The customer was able to mitigate the risk of potential lawsuits
  • And, our customer’s brand protection manager instantly became the organization’s authentication “superhero.”

Most importantly, confidence in the brand was restored among physicians, pharmacists and patients.

Every superhero needs a partner.

What would Batman be without Robin? The Green Hornet without Kato? Not much, if you ask us. If you want to be your company’s authentication superhero, contact us today. In true superhero style, Authentix is the partner with the innovative solution to boost your authentication powers!

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Case Study: Fast-Moving Consumer Goods

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Brand protection solution to eliminate the diversion of products from legitimate distribution channels

The Challenge

A large, global hair care manufacturer produces category-leading brands with high consumer loyalty and demand. Their products are marketed through exclusive, professional beauty care channels via a complex supply chain with diverse manufacturing systems and multiple distribution outlets.

All of these elements make their products high-value targets for counterfeiters, organized theft rings, and gray market wholesalers. In fact, the manufacturer found they were being negatively impacted by diversion of its products from legitimate distribution channels into gray or retail markets. This situation was creating dissatisfied customers and weakening their market promotional efforts.

The Need

Clearly, the manufacturer needed an anti-diversion authentication solution that would help them maintain brand equity. It was imperative that the solution include the ability to authenticate product and verify its “product genealogy” throughout its life cycle. They also needed the ability to track product throughout their entire supply chain and make sure the right product was always delivered to the right location.

The Solution

The global hair care manufacturer turned to Authentix to implement an authentication solution of serialization and a track-and-trace system that identified product diversion in the brand’s distribution channels. The Authentix solution utilized multiple covert authentication features that allow item-level serialization, full product trace-ability from manufacturing to retail, as well as provisions to track repackaged products. In addition, the track-and-trace system was seamlessly integrated into manufacturing process controls for all of the manufacturer’s 13 production lines.

Itemized serialization was accomplished for over 165 million products, enabling full trace-ability from manufacturing to retail.

The Outcome

      • Successfully identified channel leaks within a complex distribution chain of over 2,500 channel partners and 15 distributors
      • Over 300 million units have been marked since the Authentix solution was implemented
      • 47 percent reduction in product diversion
      • Consequently, product sales increased by $77 million

Contact us if your company is struggling with lost revenue due to illicit activity throughout your supply chain.

Agrochemical Case Study

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Violation of Licensing Agreement Revealed with In-Product Brand Protection Program

The Issue

An agricultural chemical manufacturer suspected that one of its formulators was in violation of a licensing agreement, substituting a generic active ingredient for the licensed component. The formulator also appeared to be diverting the end-product for sale in a region outside of its licensed territory where it had a higher value.

The Solution

The manufacturer turned to Authentix for a solution to ensure the use of their component in the formulator’s end-product. Authentix worked with the manufacturer to incorporate US FDA-compliant in-product markers into the licensed component, ensuring that the markers could endure the harsh synthesis process, become homogenous and remain stable, while not impacting the active ingredient. By adding markers to all of the licensed component, a test of the suspect formulator’s end-product that showed low concentration or no marker presence would indicate that the formulator was replacing the licensed active ingredient with a generic product.

The markers are detectable in the field using a simple qualitative (yes / no) test kit, backed up with a quantitative laboratory test. The layered marker program allows wide-spread and quick field screening, with suspect samples sent to a centralized laboratory for validation and to provide support for corrective action. The manufacturer’s personnel were trained to use the test kits and perform the laboratory analysis, allowing them to monitor the formulator’s end-product for compliance with the licensing agreement.

The Outcome

The agricultural chemical manufacturer determined conclusively that the formulator was in violation of its licensing agreement by testing for and not finding the Authentix markers in the end-product. Field tests were confirmed by precise laboratory testing, delivering proof that enabled enforcement action to be taken.

Case Study: Wine & Spirits

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Addressing Counterfeiting and Adulteration Increases Sales by 25%

 

The Issue

Authentix implemented a program in South America to help address a spirits counterfeiting issue. With annual production of over 60 million bottles of various spirits (approx. 50 million liters), this market provided the largest single source of state government revenue—over $150M in previous years.

The Solution

To solve the issue, the program used a combination of in-product, on-package marking and distribution channel monitoring. For authentication purposes on packaging, an overt feature was added as tamper evidence for consumers and a covert feature was added for official retail inspectors via handheld field verification readers and test kits. In addition, covert features were incorporated into the spirit itself for field verification and forensic lab verification.

The Outcome

  • Within the first year of the program, 75 million liters of spirits had been protected (approx. 100 million bottles).
  • More than 1300 inspectors in 28 states had inspected over 300 retail outlets.
  • Of these, 10% were found to contain counterfeits and 5 retail outlets were investigated resulting in arrests.
  • The brand owner experienced a 25% increase in sales over the same time period.

Case Study: Coral Gas Combats Illicit LPG Dilution

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Authentix developed a fuel marking system that is the first of its kind to be adopted by an EU-member state.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a Greek success story. In recent years, Greek consumers have increasingly switched to LPG, using it both as an automotive fuel and a heating fuel, due to its lower price compared to gasoline or oil. In fact, official Greek sales of LPG reached 215,000 metric tons last year, up from just 4,200 tons in 2009.

Coral Gas has played a major part in that success. Formerly known as Shell Gas S.A., Coral Gas S.A. operates as a subsidiary of Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries SA. Through its four plants in Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Crete, Coral Gas has helped make LPG a big part of everyday life in Greece.

The Attack

With success came a significant problem. Coral Gas was experiencing product quality problems due to dilution. It appeared that LPG that did not originate from the fuel retailer’s depots was being diluted and sold through its network of retail stations. This illicit activity had a negative effect on the Coral Gas brand, as consumers were no longer able to depend on the integrity of the LPG fuel they were purchasing. Manipulated fuel like this can lead to premature engine wear and tear, leading to costly repairs. Of course, it also leads to erosion of consumer trust in the brand creating significant revenue loss.

Defense

To defeat the LPG dilution problem, Coral Gas has introduced a powerful new weapon—a molecular marker, that is added to its automotive LPG products. This advanced authentication solution was developed by Authentix, the sole global provider of quantitative LPG marking technology.

To deter illicit fuel manipulation and protect Coral Gas’ brand integrity, Authentix’s team of subject matter experts in technology, program design and fuel authentication program management, collaborated with Coral Gas to support their business goals. Authentix developed a proactive, innovative solution that utilizes chemical markers built to withstand adulteration and illicit filtering methods. Authentix also provides in-house services and support (advisory, design, implementation and operations).

In the advisory phase, vulnerabilities in Coral Gas’s supply chain were identified. Using this information, the Authentix team provided a design template using its covert markers and analyzers to customize the program to Coral Gas’ needs.

The Pilot Program

Launched at one retail location in 2017, the pilot phase included the addition of a proprietary Authentix covert marker to Coral Gas’ automotive LPG. Using patented technology validated in both the field and laboratory, the Authentix team added quantitative fluorescent markers to legitimate fuel and measured for dilution. These markers are detected using special, intrinsically-safe readers.

The marker creates a unique fingerprint to identify legitimate fuel at retail sites, and is only visible with a highly-sensitive field detection device. Quantitative measurements of the marked LPG were taken using an Authentix LPX 1000 device reader. The device uses a monochromator principle to detect the presence of the optical marker in the fuel.

The Full Roll-Out

On October 8, 2018, Coral Gas began using LPG markers to protect their branded automotive LPG at approximately 350 retail sites, 100 of which are company owned/operated, and 250 that are dealer owned/operated.

As part of the program, Coral Gas is performing unannounced checks at service stations to ensure the quality and quantity of LPG. In addition, a state-of-the-art electronic system ensures the quality of the gas, accuracy of the mass meter controls, and that the program is being operated correctly by each Coral Gas distributor.

The program is designed to further advance the already-stringent quality controls that Coral Gas has in place. “The application of this molecular tracer system is part of the ongoing commitment to our customers to deliver quality fuels with excellent specifications,” said Coral Gas CEO Panagiotis Charitopoulos. “At Coral Gas, there are no compromises on quality issues and very high standards are maintained throughout our fuel management process.”

This is the first LPG marking system implemented in Europe. Working with Authentix, Coral Gas has implemented an effective solution to ensure that, every day, Coral Gas customers receive the precise, high-quality LPG that their brand promises.