Pharmaceutical Counterfeits Threaten $1 Billion Pipeline of Product

Pharmaceutical Counterfeits Threaten $1 Billion Pipeline of Product

The Issue

Counterfeit copies of a major pharmaceutical brand were discovered in the US market. With no security measures in place to allow patients or inspectors to readily distinguish authentic from counterfeit goods, both patient welfare and the manufacturer’s reputation were under threat. Given such risks, the $1 billion of authentic product, which was in the distribution pipeline, could not be sold without some means of allowing patients and retailers to verify that the product was authentic.

The Solution

The 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 ink that could be readily distinguished by patients
  • Covert, machine-readable inks that that can be detected by inspection staff with appropriate readers in the field
  • Forensic markers that can only be detected under laboratory analysis

The printed solutions were applied to packaging, labels and other components using a variety of printing methods. Moreover, the solution was developed by Authentix and approved by the customer and the FDA within four weeks.

The Outcome

The strategic solution provided a secure means of distinguishing authentic from counterfeit goods, thereby restoring confidence in the brand among physicians, pharmacists and patients. The manufacturer was able to mitigate the risk of potential lawsuits. Furthermore, the $1 billion of product frozen within the supply chain was released for sale and the expense of a full product recall was averted.

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