Securing the pharma supply chain from counterfeits

Online expert discussion on 11 June to discuss counterfeit drugs and medical devices

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Global incidents of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and fake drugs via Internet
Global incidents of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and fake drugs via Internet

ASPA and Messe Frankfurt India to are bringing experts to discuss ideas for securing the pharmaceutical supply chain from counterfeits at a live panel discussion on 11 June 2021.

Increasing instances of substandard, falsified and counterfeit medical products continue to pose a major challenge to the global healthcare system which is already suffering from the dire impact of Covid-19. What happens when the ray of hope – vaccines, become vulnerable to the scourge of counterfeiting?

Amid the onslaught of the second wave of Covid-19, the healthcare sector is under heavy pressure owing to the rising cases across different states. Moreover, the growing demand for medicines, protective gear and other pharmaceutical equipment has given rise to counterfeiting, tampering and diversion of these life-saving products, thus putting the health of millions at risk around the globe. This just proves how important it is for pharmaceutical companies are fully compliant with FDA regulations, and they can hire FDA regulatory consulting agencies to achieve that.

The Covid-19 vaccines are also prone to counterfeiting, putting the global pharmaceutical fraternity on red alert. To address this menace and to introduce greater authenticity in the pharmaceutical supply chain, ASPA (Authentication Solution Providers’ Association) and Messe Frankfurt India are all set to host a high-profile panel discussion on 11 June 2021.

Panelists will explain life-threatening practice of pharma counterfeiting

As a part of ‘The Authentication Forum,’ the webinar will address the theme of “Protecting lives & securing the pharmaceutical supply chain during Covid-19.” Senior leaders, regulatory officials and international experts will attend and share their perspective on the burning issue and discuss collective measures to eradicate the unethical and life-threatening practice of pharmaceutical counterfeiting. The group of panelists will include –

  • Dr Praveen Gedam, Additional CEO, National Health Authority, Government of India
  • Prashant K. Gupta, Country Head Sales, Shriram Veritech Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  • Girish Pai, Chief Business Officer, Pharmasecure
  • S. Swaminathan, Chief Executive Officer, GS1 India
  • Rajiv Joshi, Partner, Forensic & Integrity Services, Ernst & Young LLP (Moderator)

The webinar will be supported by the authentication partners and solutions providers including Shriram Veritech, PharmaSecure and Holographic Security Marking Systems.

Elaborating on the aim to host the webinar, Raj Manek, executive director and board member, Messe Frankfurt Asia Holdings, said, “The increasing penetration of spurious pharmaceutical products has escalated into a major issue across the world. Many countries are still dealing with the pandemic and under such [a] critical scenario it is crucial to find solutions to combat counterfeiting and introduce a new degree of authenticity in the pharmaceutical supply chain.”

Commenting further, Nakul Pasricha, president, ASPA, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed India’s healthcare system. There are various issues which need to be addressed immediately, including eliminating sub-standard and falsified medicines from the system as well as ensuring availability of affordable and quality health services. As an association, ASPA is committed to build the authentication eco-systems in the country and these webinars are our way to contribute to fighting this menace by bringing this issue into the limelight at all Industry and government forums.”

ASPA is the only body in India representing authentication and traceability solutions providers. The association aims to educate brand owners, government authorities and consumers about the importance of fighting counterfeiting and how authentication solutions can help in this regard. In partnership with Messe Frankfurt India, ASPA is determined to take this initiative forward to foster a well-authenticated and well-secured pharmaceutical supply chain.

According to a report released by the World Health Organisation, 1 out of 10 medicines sold in low and middle-income countries, were tested as substandard and falsified. It is high time for the industry to develop a stronger framework for testing and authentication of pharmaceutical products. “We hope that uniting the industry players through ‘The Authentication Forum’ webinar will aid in deriving resolute measures to resolve the counterfeiting menace that has been ailing the industry since ages.” added Manek.

Messe Frankfurt has been actively involved in addressing the counterfeiting issues across industries including automotive, pharmaceutical and FMCG. Through conferences like Pharmasafe India, Medical Device Innovation Summit (MDIS) [now known as MedTech Innovation Forum] along with The Authentication Forum, Messe Frankfurt India aims to draw attention to the factors concerning counterfeiting of medicines and effective initiatives, regulations, and policies required to curb this menace.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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