The problem of counterfeit drugs is a global one. US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, for example, says it has found fake medicines in at least 75 countries around the world.
Pyrotec PackMedia can incorporate technologies and security features into labels to deter counterfeiting. Look out for the following red flags to determine whether a label is counterfeit:
Sub-standard labels – Reputable companies typically take care with their labelling and packaging, so if the quality of the printing on the label is second-rate then it might be a fake. Running or faded colours might be another giveaway. Pharmaceutical company Bayer, for example, warns consumers to be wary of products that depict a distorted Bayer logo or have unusual colouring or patterns. If in doubt, compare labels with products you know.
Bad spelling and grammar – Spelling or grammatical errors are common on the packaging and labels for counterfeit goods. If you spot a howler then the alarm bells should start ringing.
Made-up names – Bayer also points out that some scammers invent names for their products that closely resemble the products consumers know and trust. If in doubt, enter these names into a search engine to find out which drugs are legitimate.
Contact details – Does the label have the right contact information or any contact details at all? Reputable companies must include contact information on labels or packaging. Check using a search engine if in doubt.
Does the label exactly match the product? – If you are suspicious that a product might be counterfeit, check that the model or reference numbers on the label or packaging corresponds with the product.
So how do FMCG manufacturers effectively protect their brands and customers?
Pyrotec PackVerifi offers a cloud-based brand protection track and trace service that helps organisations fight the scourge of product counterfeiting while supporting traceability throughout the supply chain. Importantly, PackVerifi helps brand owners and consumers to target counterfeiting when and where it happens. Consumers simply use a smart phone to scan a QR (quick response) code on a product, or they can send an SMS with the code’s corresponding numbers. PackVerifi software analyses the validity of the code and then immediately sends a response back to the consumer to confirm whether the product is counterfeit. For brand managers, a simple analytics dashboard reveals where and when counterfeiting is occurring.
PackVerifi software is easy to integrate into workflows using a secure login, and a secure printer is authorised to access unique QR codes that are then printed onto security labels or directly onto product packaging.
Key features include highly-secure automatic code generation that uniquely identifies each product; real-time customer messaging that verifies authenticity; real-time analytics that locate and identify counterfeiting activity by using an easily-configured rules engine; and an easy-access business portal for brand managers, supply chain partners and customers.
PackVerifi’s service capabilities include product identification and serialisation; product traceability; supply chain visibility and monitoring; and an opportunity for direct engagement with consumers, supply chain partners, customer clearance agents and investigators to unlock hidden insights relating to brand perception, illicit supply chain activities and supply chain performance.
Offering low total cost of ownership and easy to roll out and integrate, PackVerifi is flexible and inter-operable, and provides the benefits of global connectivity.