PMPN_Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News

Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, May/June 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 43

13 May/June 2015 Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News • A t first glance, counterfeiting may seem to plague only high-value products. But for those who have been tracking counterfeiters and trying to anticipate their next move—such as Brian Donnelly, P f i z e r ' s D i r e c - t o r o f G l o b a l S e c u r i t y f o r t h e A m e r i c a s region—counter- feiting is every- one's problem. "Everything is counterfeited," says Donnelly. "We just took down a ChapStick counterfeiting operation—a $2 ChapStick! It is all about market share– counterfeiters take advantage of it." Donnelly will be sharing some of his experiences in tracking pharmaceuti- cal counterfeiters at the upcoming Pharmapack North America confer- ence June 10 in "Mitigating the Risk of Counterfeiting to Your Brand, Trading Partners, and Patients." He will be joined by Timothy Marsh, Managing Direc- t o r o f S u p p l y Chain Security Partners, who will offer strategies on protecting pharma brands from counterfeiting. Donnelly will share recorded inter- views with suspected counterfeiters that he has previously shared with law enforcement on how suspects set up their operations. He has found that some seek to buy the very equipment that pharmaceutical companies use. "I don't think too many people are aware of who they are selling their used equip- ment to," he worries. "I want to give the audience a feel for the problem." The risk to a pharma brand is sig- nificant, says Donnelly. "A lot more tablets are counterfeited than are sto- len," he says. "Counterfeiters use risky ingredients. But even if they use some active ingredient, it may not be enough to treat a patient, or it could lead to a product no longer being efective. And the wrong situation could wipe out an entire brand." Many pharmaceutical manufactur- ers do understand the risk, and Don- nelly describes some companies as "very proactive." But ongoing strate- gies are needed. "We have to do what we can to keep a lid on it,"he says. "We all have the same need to get counterfeiters of the street." Marsh says that pharma compa- nies "need to identify the risky areas and shore them up," he says. Steps to reducing risk include incorporating the right language into supplier con- tracts, conducting due diligence when sourcing upstream ingredients, mitigat- ing cargo theft risks, and putting the right leaders in place to establish gov- ernance, he says. "You've got to plug gaps across the entire supply chain," says Marsh. "There's a high degree of commercial risk." Despite such risk, some do contin- ue to question their ability to combat counterfeiters. "The challenge is that it is very hard to show whether tech- nology is capable of being efective," says Marsh. "Counterfeiters won't tell you that they stopped their operation because a particular ink was used, for instance." Donnelly agrees that even with the large seizures they've done, it is not easy to show "what's noise and what's real." And since the pharmaceutical mar- ket's sales aren't affected in any great way—Donnelly estimates counterfeit products amount to just 1% of the phar- ma market—solutions don't show any measurable shift, he admits. However, if technology can be used "to identify coun- terfeits and take them of the street—that is somewhat of a deterrent," he says. But "no one technology is a solution." Pharmapack North America Talk to Explore Counterfeiting Risks Brian Donnelly Timothy Marsh

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PMPN_Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News - Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, May/June 2015