Anti-counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry: why is it needed and how can counterfeit pharmaceuticals be reduced?

We discussed recently in our summary blog from the 7th Brand Protection Congress, the need for unbreakable anti-counterfeit solutions for the pharmaceutical market is growing at an alarming rate. But what can we do to prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals entering the market?

Why is anti-counterfeiting needed with the pharmaceutical industry?

In modern day, counterfeit products have infiltrated nearly every market. However, unlike other industries, counterfeit pharmaceuticals can have a sinister side effect. Counterfeit drugs can contain incorrect ingredients, incorrect amounts or no active ingredients at all and therefore pose a very serious health risk should these become available to the consumer (Pfizer 2022). The World Health Organisation (2019) suggests that counterfeit pharmaceuticals are responsible for an annual death toll of over 1m people globally.

This year alone, multiple studies have been released which have exposed the extent of counterfeiting within pharmaceuticals. The Journal of Global Health has estimated the value of the global trade of counterfeit drugs is valued at ~ $300bn, with counterfeit medicine being one of the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprises.

Furthermore, in 2020, Europol reported that counterfeit pharmaceuticals were the seventh most commonly seized counterfeit product (Europol, 2022) with clothes, accessories and luxury goods remaining the most popular categories for counterfeiters to target.

The benefits of anti-counterfeiting for pharmaceuticals

As stressed above, the main benefits of anti-counterfeiting for pharmaceuticals is lowering the risk of health-related side effects which may occur from exposure to counterfeit drugs. Reducing this number will not only save innocent lives but also help build valuable trust between the end-user and the brand.

For the pharmaceutical company, the introduction of anti-counterfeiting solutions can result in a reduced loss of earnings and can deter criminals from attempting to counterfeit your product. 

The regulation of this industry through advanced anti-counterfeiting solutions such as Q-ID® is an invaluable asset globally.

How our anti-counterfeiting solution can aid the pharmaceutical industry

At Quantum Base, we have manufactured the world’s first unbreakable anti-counterfeiting solution. Harnessing the inherent randomness of quantum technology (named the quantum fingerprint), we have created our Q-ID® Optical anti-counterfeiting system which is scientifically impossible to copy, clone or fake. 

Authenticated in a matter of seconds using just a smartphone camera, our Q-ID® Optical can help to increase consumer led authentication and in turn better the relationships between end-users the the brands. This will be particularly important for the pharmaceutical industry as end-users trust brands with their medical care. 

The power of instant authentication can strengthen global supply chains and allows billions of global end consumers to be the custodian of medicine authenticity.

Our Q-ID® Optical anti-counterfeiting solution can be applied at box and foil level and, thanks to the flexibility of our tags, can help to overcome many issues faced with packaging real estate. We are currently developing a solution which can be placed at individual pill level, after clinical trials.

Why choose Quantum Base?

We understand that choosing the correct anti-counterfeit solution is essential. Many other options are available, such as RFIDs, holograms or QR codes. However, one main theme runs through these options: vulnerability.

Our Q-ID® Optical is 100% proven to be impossible to copy or clone, meaning your product and your brand will always be secure. 

Aside from the vulnerability to criminals, these solutions are often expensive to implement or require a long and arduous authentication process, often needing specialist equipment.

As our Q-ID® tags authenticate in seconds with a smartphone camera, the troubles surrounding the authentication process are banished and allow for anyone with a camera phone to authenticate your products at any stage along the supply chain. Our tags are also easily integrated into your manufacturing process meaning you can protect your product, brand and consumers quicker and easier than ever before. 

To find out more about our Q-ID® Optical tags, why not get in touch with a member of our team? We are happy to answer questions and explain our unbreakable anti-counterfeiting solution further, in the context of your own business.