Improving the safety and security of the supply chain from counterfeit products has been a huge problem for businesses and governments for decades, particularly within the pharmaceutical industry.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office, the growing international trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals is costing billions of dollars a year and risking lives.
The recent coronavirus pandemic and seizures of counterfeit medical supplies has brought new attention to the severity of the problem. COVID-19 has fueled a surge in fake medicines and counteracting counterfeit production can mean the difference between life and death.
1 in 10 substandard or falsified
Norwegian TV2 recently showed how a criminal industry cynically produces illegal drugs with no concerns for the health of others and the lives that will be lost. Another recent BBC News investigation found counterfeiters exploiting gaps in the market and it quoted one expert who warned of a “parallel pandemic, of substandard and falsified products.”
According to Pfizer global annual estimates of deaths from counterfeit medicine range from 100,000 to 1 million.
Underscoring the dangers, the World Health Organization (WHO) also put out a warning regarding the growing numbers of fake coronavirus medicines available for sale. According to research by WHO 1 in 10 medical products in developing countries is substandard or falsified and could cause serious illness or even death.
With a heightened focus, governments, businesses and regulators alike are actively seeking new innovations and ways to use emerging technologies to combat counterfeiting and reduce the number of fake products reaching consumers.
Luckily, strong international organisations collaborate to deliver innovative technology-enabled solutions. For instance, with advances in process analytical technology, sensors and industrial analytics, it is possible to detect illegal or dangerous drugs in real-time using a handheld device running spectral analysis.
The potential of this type of solution is exciting and already in use by in customs around the world for a fast and non-destructive validation of drugs and other consumer goods. It is also used in the field in countries where falsified medicine is more likely to turn up, to ensure that the medicine is safe and to measure the effect to ensure treatment or prevention of diseases.
Our CEO Raman Bhatnagar has been on Norwegian television explaining how handheld spectrometers running advanced sensor analysis can be used by manufacturers, customs and consumers to instantly identify counterfeit and unsafe products. Watch now >>
Partnering for quality and safety
Another important way Camo is supporting sustainability and public health is partnering with industry leaders globally to improve quality and reduce waste. China is currently one of the biggest producers of counterfeit and illegal products and we are committed to playing a role in changing that statistic. We are fully supporting important government initiatives like “Made in China 2025” and are working with Chinese companies operating in compliance with international standards, ethical guidelines and new strict legislation.
The Chinese market is changing fast and maturing in many strong ways when it comes to embracing modern industrial analytics. We hear stories and see evidence of this more and more where a Chinese company has emulated and improved using an advanced process analytical technology solution.
Making a difference
At Camo we are honored and proud to take an industry-leadership role in providing solutions throughout the production process and at critical points in the supply chain to stop counterfeit production, contribute towards stronger global health and further the sustainability goals outlined by the United Nations.
For over 35 years, it has been our mission and our passion to deliver innovation in industrial analytics while solving complex problems driving extraordinary results.
We will continue to bring attention to important stories like this one, where innovation and advanced industrial analytics are making a difference in the world.
Related news coverage:
Norwegian TV2: TV2 to make 20 million potentially deadly tablets
Pfizer: The startling reality
Norwegian TV2: How to reveal counterfeit goods
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