Packaging design, a valuable ally in anti-counterfeiting struggle

Counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry is a growing phenomenon at international level: the sales of counterfeit medicines have found fertile ground on the web, where it is possible to reach a vast audience at the short distance of a click.  A few weeks ago, in September, Interpol’s Pangea X operation led to the record seizure of 25 million counterfeit medicines and drugs in 123 different countries, sold on the internet, for a value of over 43 million euros. Pangea X led to the arrest of 400 people and the closure of 3,584 websites, stopping more than 3,000 advertisements promoting the sale of counterfeit medicines.

Well, but not fine: the operation is still just a drop in the sea. Recent data released by the latest report by the Office of the European Union for Intellectual Property, developed by Euipo, the European Union for Intellectual Property, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the OECD, speak of a submerged daunting economy: counterfeiting has a market of over $ 85 billion a year in all sectors, from electronics to clothing; pharmaceutical industry is ranked fourth, with a turnover of $ 5 billion. Among the most required products in “fake” websites we find remedies for weight loss, for inflating the muscles and the so-called “pills of love”.

Just a way to avoid embarrassment at the drugstore counter? Also, but not only: in the list of the most commonly used counterfeit medicines there are also analgesics and flu remedies. No wonder: e-commerce is now a new buying habit and fake medicines more often are easily confused with authentic drugs.

Contrasting the counterfeiting of medicines: a responsibility of all actors involved

In addition to represent a serious health risk for consumers, unaware of the consequences they may face, counterfeiting of medicines and medical products seriously damages pharmaceutical companies, because the missed sales of original medicines cause economic and jobs losses. In the European Union, it caused a drop in sales of about 17 billion Euros, whit the result of about 91,000 jobs lost and 1,7 billion Euros in public revenue gone missed.

The institutions are facing the problem at international level: next March in London will be held the Pharma Security World 2018 conference focused on counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry.

On the same line goes Fakeshare (now at a second phase named Fakeshare II) a European project promoted a few years ago to coordinate and optimize initiatives to contrast the spread of illegal medicines trough the European Union, ensuring the sharing of monitoring activities on e-pharmacies. A public portal has been implemented on the project site: users can find and download information and insights to raise awareness about the dangers of buying online medicines from unverified websites.

Packaging design in anti-counterfeiting: ToBEUnique

In the struggle against counterfeiting, packaging design could be a valuable resource. That’s why we have developed ToBEUnique, a digital printing method unique in the world that joins in a single process the print on the aluminum tube body together with the plastic cap for amazing graphic results.

ToBEUnique is an exclusive printing method of Tubettificio Favia; its uniqueness therefore can be used effectively for the purpose against counterfeit.

By printing simultaneously both the capsule and the tube, the result is excellent, and at the moment you there is not a technology in the World that allows to reach the same results of continuity by working the materials separately (not to mention the high costs and complex handling of the process, that are already a reason to discourage falsification).

With ToBEUnique, packaging design becomes a valuable ally in anti-counterfeiting!

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