The Peterson Group (TPG), one of the most active non-profit organizations campaigning against drug counterfeiting just held an awareness seminar on the proper usage of anti-counterfeiting technologies to dozens of pharmacists and local authorities in West Jakarta in Indonesia last October 15, 2015. The seminar aims to inform and educate the attendees on the importance of anti-counterfeiting technologies in obliterating reports of fraudulence related to illegal drug manufacture and distribution.
TPG first targeted Indonesia because of the country’s delicate archipelagic state which continuously attracts illegal shipment and smuggling of large quantities of counterfeit medicines with understandable discretion and ease. The lack of total awareness and proper dissemination of information have also led to a higher mortality rate and further complications among its citizens. Admittedly, Indonesian local pharmacists have stated that despite the warnings of capital punishment to those who are found guilty of smuggling counterfeit medicines in the country, the implementation of law is oftentimes vague and security loose.
Threats to the pharmaceutical supply chain include stolen products, unapproved generics, re-introduction of expired products, counterfeits, up-labeled products, diverted products, and parallel imports. The World Health Organization estimates that the percentage of drugs which are counterfeit range from around one per cent of sales in developed countries to over 10 per cent in developing countries, depending on the geographical area.
Solidification is emphasized throughout the seminar which lasted for four hours. Sanofil spokesperson, Theo Mowas stated, ""anti-counterfeiting strategies should be implemented together. That is why there should be a union among local pharmaceutical companies and the sectors of government which work in related field".
Thomas Manu, TPG spokesperson, also reiterated the importance of proper communication and good relationship between the government and private owners. He then reminded those present that transparency is one of the most vital factors in achieving a better outcome.
The organization then proceeded to finally introducing the different anti-counterfeiting technologies which are either already available in the market or are still being developed. Ideas from barcodes, overt, covert and forensic authentication on the product themselves, pedigree, tracking and other automated features were shown.
Other issues such as the rampant increase in the number of generic pharmacies in the country were also called in question. A healthy debate then issued among those who support generic pharmacies and those against it.
A similar seminar is expected to be held next in Singapore within this November.