The Growing Threat of Counterfeit Medicines on Individuals in COVID-19 Era

Counterfeiting has always been one of the pharmaceutical industry’s most significant and persistent challenges. Falsified or substandard pharmaceuticals can have serious consequences for consumer health, the economy, and public trust in healthcare systems; as a result, this is a trend that must be combated aggressively.

Unfortunately, the events of 2020 have conspired to make our crucial effort more difficult than ever. With the global COVID-19 pandemic still occurring, a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances has emerged for counterfeiters to disseminate their unlawful wares, aided by global supply chain interruptions, regulatory ambiguity, and an urgent public need for medical products.

With modern counterfeiting strategies becoming more complex, every organization participating in the pharmaceutical supply chain – from international authorities to manufacturers – must arm themselves with the necessary approach, analytical tools, and equipment to combat this problem head on.

What are the reasons for this accelerating problem?

COVID-19, like so many of the most critical concerns confronting industries around the world today, can be blamed for amplifying the already severe threat posed by counterfeiting.

The reasons for this are clear: as a result of the unprecedented worldwide public health crisis, demand for medical solutions has increased, whether in the form of medications like vaccines or health-related products like masks and hand sanitizer. However, the epidemic has caused supply chain disruption, delays, and confusion, making it more difficult for legitimate products to be transported out — and making it easier for illicit goods to sneak through the cracks.

What are the long-term impact of counterfeit medicines on individuals?

Counterfeit medicine frequently lacks active components or contains the incorrect ingredients, failing to treat the diseases for which it was prescribed or actively harming the patient. They’re easy to find online for customers who are more keen to self-diagnose and self-prescribe drugs from unregulated websites, and they’re often indistinguishable from the real thing, down to the packaging. Individuals can be harmed by counterfeit drugs in a variety of ways:

  1. Incorrect active ingredients might have negative consequences (for example, poisoning).
  2. Failure to treat or prevent future disease, resulting in an increase in mortality, morbidity, and disease prevalence.
  3. Potential progression of antimicrobial resistance and drug-resistant infections.
  4. A lack of trust in health-care personnel, health-care programs, and health-care systems.
  5. Increasing health-care spending by individuals and the health-care system when seeking for more medical treatment.
  6. Expenses incurred as a result of a prolonged illness or death.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more critical to address the counterfeit drug problem so that patients don’t lose faith in the benefits of pharmaceuticals and stop taking their medications. The growth of the online selling activities in the past few years has resulted in a significant increase in consumer purchases of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Controlling the supply of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is difficult, but it is vital given the serious public health concerns about these drugs, which can cause harm or death.

How IDLogiq Helps
Anticounterfeiting and Authentication for the Next Generation

With IDLogiq’s unique NFC security technology, counterfeit items can be detected before they reach the consumer. By integrating its technologies at the manufacturing level, products may be tracked at every stage of the supply chain. The product can be scanned and authenticated at any point along the supply chain to determine whether it is genuine or counterfeit, as well as whether it is in the correct supply channel. This allows organizations to catch counterfeit goods before they reach the end user, which is a very effective way to combat counterfeiters.

Visit IDlogic to learn more about the most advanced anti-counterfeiting solutions.