Drug Counterfeiting - Adopting Innovative Anti - Counterfeiting Technologies

S. Ramesh

The global campaign against drug counterfeiting is on for the last several years and in particular growing fast according to the western industry circles including the WHO, under whose aegis a special task force known as IMPACT as been set up. Scare stories are spread that the global counterfeiting industry will reach a level of 70 Billion Dollars by 2015, unless the anti-counterfeiting steps are taken seriously by every major country and its regulatory mechanism and standards are brought on par with the western world.
India is an emerging big player in the pharmaceutical world and is going to be a global hub for generic product manufacture and supply base to the highly regulated countries like the USA, Japan, EU and Australia. More and more Indian companies big and small have set up manufacturing facilities on par with the western standards. Thus India is a big hardware to the western world’s soft ware of knowledge.

India’s pharmaceutical market size is forecast, according to Mackinsey’s projection, to grow at a CAGR of 11+ % in the next few years to $ 20 billion by 2015 from $ 6.00 billion in 2005.

At the same time the largest pharmaceutical market by size that is the US will move from $248 billion in 2005 to $ 444 billion by the same Mackinsey report. More and more products from the west are going to be out sourced for manufacture from Indian facilities. This is a sequel to the rapidly growing cost of Health care in the western world and their Governments policy to encourage prescription of generic products in an effort to control the Health Care costs for their Citizens.

Since Indian companies though world class are able to manufacture products at fraction of the cost prevailing in the western factories, out sourcing of pharmaceutical manufacture to countries like India and China are going to be the increasing trend.

As counterfeiting problems are on the rise and its slow spread into the supply chain in the western world proving to be a great menace, Indian companies will be adopting forensic anti-counterfeiting technologies such as RFID, DMS (digital mass serialization), DME ( digital mass encryption) and many more versions of Trace and Track technology such as 2 D bar code on every pack and even on the dosage form such as a Tablet or a capsule are going to be the norm.


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