According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the extent of counterfeit medical products is unknown because counterfeiting is difficult to detect, investigate, and quantify. However, what is known is that counterfeit drugs are found worldwide and are more prevalent in developing countries. The WHO estimates that while the incidence of counterfeit drugs is less than 1% in developed countries, the percentage is much higher in some developing countries.

Sub-standard, spurious, falsely labelled, falsified and counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products are by their very nature difficult to detect and are often designed to appear identical to the genuine product. In some cases, SSFFC medical products may not cause an obvious adverse reaction but will fail to properly treat the disease or condition for which they were intended. In other cases, they may be toxic, containing either fatal levels of the wrong active ingredient or other toxic chemicals.

The WHO advises that consumers check for counterfeit products by examining the packaging’s condition and checking for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors; checking the manufacturing and expiry dates and ensuring that the details on the outer packaging match the dates shown on the inner packaging; ensuring the medicine looks correct, is not discoloured, degraded or has an unusual smell.

PackVerifi is a cloud-based brand protection, track and trace, and consumer engagement service. It helps organisations fight the scourge of product counterfeiting and detect grey market activity while supporting finished goods’ traceability throughout the supply chain, from production to distribution and the end-user. Consumers scan an on-pack QR (quick response) code that confirms if the product is authentic.

Pyrotec PackVerifi’s expertise provides the focus required to deliver a truly engaging solution built to help unlock hidden insights relating to brand perception and illicit supply chain activities and performance.

Importantly, PackVerifi helps brand owners and consumers to target counterfeiting when and where it happens. Consumers simply use a smartphone to scan a QR code on a product, or they can send an SMS with the code’s corresponding numbers. PackVerifi software analyses the validity of the code and then immediately sends a response to the consumer to confirm whether the product is counterfeit. For brand managers, a simple analytics dashboard reveals where and when counterfeiting is occurring.

PackVerifi software is easy to integrate into workflows using a secure login, and a secure printer is authorised to access unique QR codes that are then printed onto security labels or directly onto product packaging.

Key features include highly-secure automatic code generation that uniquely identifies each product; real-time customer messaging that verifies authenticity; real-time analytics that locate and identify counterfeiting activity by using an easily-configured rules engine; and an easy-access business portal for brand managers, supply chain partners and customers.

PackVerifi’s service capabilities include product identification and serialisation; product traceability; supply chain visibility and monitoring; and an opportunity for direct engagement with consumers, supply chain partners, customer clearance agents and investigators to unlock hidden insights relating to brand perception, illicit supply chain activities and supply chain performance.

Offering low total cost of ownership and easy to roll out and integrate, PackVerifi is flexible and interoperable and provides the benefits of global connectivity.

Product identification and serialisation.

Product traceability.

Supply chain visibility and monitoring.

Business intelligence and analytics capabilities.

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