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The Fightback Against Counterfeit Online Medicine Suppliers

We have all read about – and probably participated in – the boom of online shopping during the last 18 months.

The under-pressure healthcare sector is no different with national reports claiming there has been a clamour by patients who have no choice but to turn to online pharmacies.

But this in turn means patients could be at threat of a multitude of problems including taking the right medicine, but wrongly, or taking medicine and having no way of knowing whether it is genuine.

While falsified medicines is not a new thing, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) believes one in ten people now use online pharmacies.

And the International Anti-Counterfeiting Group has estimated that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to growth in falsified medicines of around 25% between 2019 and 2020.

This increase in criminal activity – and the statistics around it – are deeply worrying.

So what can be done?

There is a range of pharmaceutical labelling solutions that support compliance with the Falsified Medicines Directive (2011/62/EU) regarding packaging for prescription drugs and high-risk, over-the-counter medicines.

These include tamper-evident labels and incorporating unique serial numbers to identify and authenticate individual products.

Other measures include making labels coin reactive so a coin is rubbed over the surface to reveal what is hidden beneath or adding a now-common QR code.

Silver foil can be added to a product to make it more challenging to counterfeit while “hickies” can be deliberately printed that a counterfeiter may not think or know to replicate.

These safety measures are becoming more state-of-the-art and unrecognisable all the time.

Print features to help combat counterfeiting also include a security 2D matrix which enables information to be encoded using either text or numeric data.

Microtext is another solution offered enabling words to be printed below or at one-point size which is almost unnoticeable to the human eye without the help of magnification.

Labelling forms a crucial part in this “fightback” against counterfeit online medicine suppliers.

With the pandemic and Brexit adversely affecting the supply chain, it has never been more important to protect the authenticity and safety of the pharmaceutical sector.

Whatever the challenge, Denny Bros has a proud reputation within the industry for providing consistently high quality, secure and reliable service and products.

For more information, or to discuss your requirements with one of Denny Bros’ advisors, please contact Denny Bros.