Drug technical advisory board recommends mandatory QR coding on API labels

In order to ensure the quality of drugs and check the sale of fake drugs in the market, the DTAB (Drugs Technical Advisory Board) has recommended mandatory QR coding on labels of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). The QR codes will help in tracing the origin and movement of APIs from manufacturers to formulators through a networking system.

DTAB in a recent meeting noted that the security and integrity of API in proper storage condition played a very important role in maintaining its quality in the supply chain. The board also added that the stakeholders had suggested for implementing QR coding on APIs for tracing the origin and movement of drug ingredients.

While speaking on the development, a senior Health Ministry official said that the DTAB after detailed deliberation has recommended to include mandatory provisions under the Drug and Cosmetics Rules 1945. Other officials from the Health Ministry confirmed the numerous benefits of QR coding on API which included better price control and quality control.

APIs are the active raw materials used in the medicines to give them their therapeutic effect. A large share of APIs are being procured from other countries but the Health Ministry envisions to become self-reliant. Earlier, FICCI has also said that the reliance on other countries for API exposes India to disruptions in supply chain and pricing volatility.

Recently, the Supreme Court had directed the Central Govt. to develop a system that would benefit consumers by controlling the prices of drugs. The Health Ministry says that it has been working on introducing the QR coding for medicine packaging which can then be linked to a software supervised by NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority).

Source: The Hindu

How anti-tampering labels help in securing the product?

Whether it’s a medicine, food item or a makeup kit, consumers always want to be sure about the genuineness of the product. Any kind of adulteration and tampering not just dupes the consumer but also raises a question on the credibility of the brand and its products.

Just imagine a scenario where you find that your anti-cough syrup bottle has a tampered or a broken seal, but the contents seem intact. Will you take the risk of consuming the syrup? We bet you won’t give it a second thought and you might throw it in the trash or return it to the store.

In order to avoid such kind of situations which jeopardizes the health of the consumers and rips apart the image of the brand, many pharmaceutical companies are using different kinds of anti-tampering solutions for securing their products.

Of late, there has been widespread use of anti-tampering labels in different industries which provide robust security to the products. As their name suggests these security labels display any kind of tampering attempt made with the product. There are different kinds of anti-tampering labels with different functionalities which are as follows:

  • Paper labels: These labels indicate tampering by tearing or delaminating.
  • Void labels: When an attempt is made to remove these labels, the adhesive layer is destroyed, and a warning message appears on the substrate.
  • Self-destructive labels: When these labels are removed, they leave behind visible fragments which are very difficult to remove from the packaging.
  • Perforated labels: When the package is opened the label is destroyed at the perforation line.

Holostik is one of the leaders in manufacturing wide variety of anti-tampering labels. These labels can also encompass security printing and cutting-edge holographic features which enhances its security manifolds. Holostik has a legacy of securing different types of products and brands with the help of anti-tampering labels.

Major clamp down on fake shirts, shoes and watches

In a recent development bureau of customs destroyed fake shoes, six Rolex wristwatches and soaps having a total value of PHP 1.80 million. The incident took place in Camp Crame, Quezon City in the Philippines. The clampdown and destruction of fake goods marked the celebration of National Intellectual Property Rights Month.

As per the statement issued by the customs officials, the counterfeit products seized and destroyed from various areas were a result of ongoing efforts to secure the country’s border from counterfeit and pirated goods. Among the many confiscated fake products, six counterfeit Rolex watches came from Thailand. The items were found inside the luggage of a passenger caught in the X-ray images.

The assorted counterfeit shoes and soaps came from the operation conducted by operatives from the intellectual property rights division a part of the intelligence group. Some other items destroyed in the anti-counterfeiting operation were fake cigarettes, bags, wallets, phone accessories, shirts, belts, CDs among others.

The import of fake goods is restricted under Republic Act No. 8293 known as the ‘Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero vowed to secure the country’s border and protect local buyers against counterfeit products.

Source: canadianinquirer.net

The growing problem of counterfeit footwear

A recent report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and EU’s (European Union’s) Intellectual Property Office states that the footwear industry is one of the worst hit by counterfeiting. Some of the popular footwear brands affected by counterfeiting are Nike, Adidas, Sketchers, Reebok, Asics etc. Surprisingly, fake footwear represented 22% of the overall share of counterfeited and pirated goods seized in the year 2016.

Consumers these days have become highly fashion conscious however not everyone can afford costly branded items. In order to satisfy their hunger for brands without spending enough money, consumers knowingly buy counterfeit products. Purchasing counterfeit items is illegal and buyers of counterfeit products violate the intellectual property rights of the brands.

Counterfeiting becomes totally unacceptable when the consumers are unknowingly duped into buying fakes. It is quite tough to differentiate between genuine and fake products. With the growth of online portals, it has become easier to sell counterfeit products. This is because a consumer cannot examine the product physically to assess the genuineness of the product. Counterfeiters also utilise renowned sites to sell fake products.

According to a report, global footwear market was valued at approximately USD 246.07 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate revenue of around USD 320.44 billion by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 4.5% between 2017 and 2023.

With an enormous market for the footwear industry in the coming years, it is quite likely that counterfeiters will try their best to eat the profits of genuine companies. Counterfeit footwear may satiate your urge for branded goods, but they wear out, may cause injury or accident and many times lead to high monetary loss. Besides this, counterfeit footwear leads to loss of profits, drop down in the reputation of a brand and most importantly leads to unemployment.

Counterfeit footwear can be curbed with the help of effective regulatory measures, use of anti-counterfeiting technologies and most importantly by spreading awareness among consumers related to fake footwear products.

Counterfeit goods represent 3.3% of the world trade

According to the latest report by OECD and EU’s Intellectual Property Office the trade in counterfeit goods has increased rapidly over the last few years and now represent 3.3 per cent of the global trade.

The report titled as  ‘Trends in Trade in counterfeit and Pirated Goods’ states the value of imported counterfeit goods around the world in 2016 was valued at $509 billion which increased from $461 billion in the year 2013. For the EU, the trade in fake goods represented 6.8 per cent of imports from non-EU countries up from 5 per cent in 2013.

The trade in counterfeit goods which violate trademarks and copyrights can generate profits for organized crimes at the expense of companies and governments. Counterfeit items like medicines, auto parts, toys, food, cosmetic brands and electrical goods have many health and safety concerns.

As per the report, some of the most counterfeited goods confiscated in the year 2016 included footwear, clothing, leather goods, electrical equipment, watches, medical equipment, perfumes, toys, jewellery and pharmaceuticals. Officials also pointed out that there was an increase in counterfeit musical instruments and construction materials. A majority of the fake goods originate in China, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand and India.

Source: sdcexec.com

The rise of counterfeiting in the Indian electronics industry

In India, markets are flooded with different kinds of fake electronic products. You can easily find cheap grade counterfeit electronics items in famous markets like Nehru Place, Ghaffar Market in Delhi or Linking road in Mumbai. Besides these, there are numerous small shops and online portals which have become ideal for selling fake electronic products.

According to market reports published in the year, 2014 the counterfeit electronic market is growing twice as fast as general goods. With the deep penetration of the internet among the Indian consumer base, the largest share of fake products sold online is of electronics.

Counterfeit electronic products bring along a lot of problems like a risk to consumer’s life, tarnished brand image of the manufacturer, loss of taxes and much more. For example, a fake USB can lead to data loss and fake mobile batteries can explode without any sign.

Fake electronics also pose a risk to national security and defence establishments. Poor quality electronics used by the military can lead to lapses in national security and disastrous accidents.

There are two different types of counterfeit electronics products available in the Indian market. The first type includes the completely fake product (not manufactured by the original component manufacturer but have laser markings).

The second type is known as partial fake products (manufactured by the original component manufacturer but are remarked to show different functions). In this type, the counterfeiters use fake packaging instead of remarking the product.

Apple suffers from monetary loss due to fake iPhones

The global tech giant, Apple was recently scammed by a couple of students and the repercussions have turned out to be quite serious for the tech major. According to media reports two Chinese students at Oregon State University and Linn Benton Community college were involved in the import of smartphones from Hong Kong which were in fact counterfeits.

They tricked Apple by sending back the faulty counterfeits. In return, Apple sent them brand new legitimate iPhone as a part of its warranty process. Each of the new phones were shipped overseas for healthy profits. Since 2017, the scamsters had duped Apple with an amount of the value $895,800.

Surprisingly, Apple allowed fake iPhones to be replaced so easily. Employees at Apple were just following normal procedure and were assuming they were being given faulty handsets to process.

In total, Apple allowed 1,493 counterfeit iPhones to be exchanged with brand new ones however in total they attempted to exchange 3,069 sets. Eventually, Apple realized and sent a cease and desist order to the address where the culprits lived, but it was ignored.

The offenders are now facing charges of illegal trafficking of counterfeit goods, fraud and illegal exporting. However, both of the culprits are denying that they have sent counterfeit phones to Apple.

Source: in.pcmag.com

What are the reasons behind the growth of counterfeiting?

Counterfeiting is a global problem which is growing on a rapid scale devouring economic growth and affecting the society badly. According to a report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office, “The value of imported fake goods rose to $509 billion in 2016, up from $461 billion three years ago.”

The report also states, “Global sales of counterfeit and pirated goods have soared to $522 billion a year, amounting to a whopping 3.3 per cent of world trade.” Different experts cite different reasons behind the growth and expansion of counterfeiting but there are a few main reasons which are responsible for its monstrous growth.

The trend of knowingly buying fakes: One of the biggest reason behind the rise of fakes is that there is a big market for it. The rise of luxury brand value has deeply steeped in the heart of millions and the only possible way to afford it is to buy a fake luxury product which satisfies one’s obsession for costly goods and is affordable at the same time. There are a large number of people buying fakes compared to the ones who unknowingly fall victim to counterfeit products. Moreover, counterfeits offer a high-profit margin for distributors and retailers compared to genuine products.

Poor IP laws and weak monitoring of supply chains: The governments in different countries need to make stringent intellectual property laws and should equip authorities with advance mechanisms to monitor supply chains. Perhaps one of the reasons behind the flourishing counterfeit business is due to the absence of these two steps. In the presence of strict IP laws, the chances of copyright violations come down drastically and curb the practice of counterfeiting. Besides, government authorities should also be equipped with advanced monitoring technologies to look out for any loopholes.

The rise of counterfeit business on the web: Nowadays, counterfeiting has intruded the online marketplace. We regularly encounter spurious websites and social media links on the web which showcase alluring deals on different kinds of products. But do we really know how the product actually looks like? According to the International Trademark Association, “Criminals prefer to sell counterfeits on the Internet for many reasons. They can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet with the Dark Web even their IP addresses can be hidden. The Internet gives them the reach to sell to consumers globally-outside of the national limits of law enforcement.”

The growth of free trade zones: Another factor behind the growth of counterfeiting worldwide is the rise of free trade zones in different parts of the world. Free trade zones provide tax advantages and other exemptions which helps to boost the economy of the host country. However, it also leads to a rise in counterfeiting and piracy as there are little checks and easy transport facilities available in these zones.

Lack of use of anti-counterfeiting technologies: Many organisations do not take counterfeiting seriously and they ridicule the use of anti-counterfeiting technologies. However, the fact is that duplication eats their business from within like cancer and at times the financial damage is huge. It is high time that organisations utilise the power of anti-counterfeiting technologies to deter counterfeiters from sneaking into their profits.

US President signs memorandum to curb counterfeit goods

US President Donald Trump recently signed a presidential memorandum to tackle the menace of online trafficking of fake goods. The memorandum is meant to stop the sale of fake products on sites like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.

Peter Navarro Director of White House National Trade Council says, “This president has decided that it’s time to clean up this Wild West of counterfeiting and trafficking. The central core of the problem is that right now, third-party online marketplaces … have zero liability when it comes to trafficking in these counterfeit goods. That simply has to stop. We are going to attack that on numerous fronts.”

Meanwhile, e-commerce companies are also taking effective measures to stop the trade of counterfeits. Amazon spent a whopping $400 million on fighting fakes and has started brad registry and transparency program by the name of ‘Project Zero’.

However, Navarro also cleared that any possible actions by the administration to prevent online trafficking in counterfeit merchandise is premature. The directive orders the Department of Homeland security to work with other agencies on identifying the root of the problem.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that the value of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is about a half trillion dollars a year, with roughly 20% infringing on U.S. intellectual property, according to the directive.

Source: sfchronicle.com

What are the negative outcomes of counterfeit fertilizers?

Lately, there has been an increase in raids on counterfeit fertilizers across India. Counterfeit and adulterated fertilizers have been detected at different stages of the supply chain. International reports suggest that counterfeit fertilizers are not just a problem limited to India but are prevalent in Indonesia, Vietnam, Turkey and many countries in Africa.

Fertilizers are often adulterated with fillers which contain harmful chemicals. It has been usually seen that expensive fertilizers are mixed with cheap grade ingredients.

The boom of the green revolution in our country and the resulting increase in demand for fertilizers created a lucrative opportunity for counterfeiters to sell adulterated fertilizers on a large scale.

However, counterfeit fertilizers have led to a lot of negative outcomes. Counterfeit fertilizers damage the crops, makes the fertile land barren and most importantly weakens the country’s economy.

Due to low yields, farmers are not able to repay their debts to the bank which causes an unnecessary financial burden. This forces the banking institutions to further increase the interest on the loans which demotivates the farmers to borrow them. It’s like a vicious cycle which never ends and leads to massive financial losses.

Continuous deterioration of farming output creates a cause of concern for commodity traders and investors. Moreover, legitimate fertilizer manufacturing companies face a massive financial setback due to the sale of counterfeits and suffer from a poor brand image among consumers which takes years to heal.

Anti-counterfeiting solutions can play an important role in curbing counterfeiting in the fertilizer manufacturing industry. Holostik is a name to reckon with the best anti-counterfeiting solutions provider. The company provides customized solutions to deal with the duplication and adulteration of fertilizers. The company’s unique packaging solutions encompass high-end anti-duplication solutions which make it impossible for the forgers to adulterate or copy the product.

An IBEF report states, “Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58 per cent of India’s population. Gross Value Added by agriculture, forestry and fishing is estimated at Rs 17.67 trillion (US$ 274.23 billion) in FY18.” With such a massive contribution to the economy, it is high time that the Indian agro-industry players, authorities and the Government take necessary measures to tackle the menace of duplication.