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Fighting Counterfeit Medications

According to a recent survey by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and Pfizer, about two-thirds of the retail and hospital pharmacists in Europe, the US, and Australia believe that current policies in place for dealing with counterfeit medicines are insufficient.

Counterfeit medications are a serious problem not only in developing markets, but in mature segments as well. According to the FDA, 10% of all drugs sold in the US are counterfeit, while 25% of the drugs in developing countries are counterfeit or substandard. 

Clearly, counterfeiting not only erodes brand name and profitability, but it puts lives at risk. As big as this problem is becoming, manufacturers are finding ways to combat and prevent counterfeiting.

Labeling is one tool manufacturers are using to protect their products. Holograms, for example, can contain optically variable security features incorporating advanced technologies. Some holograms contain both overt features and covert elements like laser-hidden images or serialized codes.

Tamper-evident holograms show when an attempt is made to remove the label from a package. Holograms can be made that leave behind warning text when removed, or they can be made to self-destruct when attempts are made to peel off the label.

New technologies allow holograms to combine authentication and detection into an effective anti-counterfeiting tool.

Do you need effective labeling to protect your brand from counterfeiting? How are you dealing with this type of problem? Let us know.

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