Drug Counterfeiting is a Global Problem
Product Authentication img-counterfeiting
Counterfeit pharmaceuticals refer to fake or fraudulent medications that are intentionally mislabeled, often with the aim of deceiving consumers or healthcare providers about the nature and quality of the product. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a significant global issue, affecting both developed and developing countries.

Counterfeit drugs may contain incorrect dosages of active ingredients, no active ingredients, or harmful substances. Consumption of counterfeit medications can pose serious health risks, including treatment failure, development of drug resistance, and adverse reactions. Inadequate treatment due to ineffective or fake drugs can worsen health conditions and lead to increased morbidity and mortality.

Counterfeit pharmaceuticals often enter the supply chain through illicit channels, including unauthorized online pharmacies, smuggling, and illegal distribution networks. Globalization has increased the complexity of pharmaceutical supply chains, making it challenging to monitor and control the movement of drugs.
Counterfeiting Statistics

In 2023, Operation Pangea XVI, coordinated by Interpol, targeted counterfeit and illicit drugs in 89 nations. This initiative resulted in the seizure of illicit medicines worth USD $7 million, 72 arrests globally, and the shutdown of over 1,300 criminal websites advertising illicit medication products.

The Pharmaceutical Security Institute has been gathering data on counterfeiting, illegal diversion, and theft incidents for twenty-one consecutive years. Below are the analyzed incident trends for the calendar year 2022.

Incidents of Counterfeiting, Illegal Diversion & Theft of Pharmaceuticals
Different Medicines Across Every Therapeutic Category
PSI documented Arrests for Pharmaceutical Crime in 2022
Countries in 2022
Product Authentications img-anti-counterfeiting
Existing Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies

Most current anti-counterfeit strategies are focused on packaging alone. These strategies can be broadly categorized into several types but not limited to:

  • Holograms and Watermarks
  • Security Inks and Printing Techniques
  • Color-Shifting Inks
  • Serial Numbers and Product Codes
  • Tamper-Evident Labels
  • Void Labels
Product Authentication img-authentication
What Can Be Done?

Applying and layering novel authentication methods (both overt and covert) is the best way to combat this threat.

By authenticating not only the packaging but also the product, FDA-compliant SECURtracers addresses the problem of counterfeiting, diversion or substitution of products and helps stay a step ahead of the counterfeiters.