How does counterfeiting affects consumers?

Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing menace which has an evil impact on different industries. Organisations lose millions of dollars every year due to the sale of counterfeit products. The problem of duplication has sneaked in every sector. It is estimated that by 2022, the value of counterfeit and pirated goods will be around $1.90 -$2.81 trillion as per FICCI.

Most of the times the repeated attempts of organizations to fight the counterfeits have turned futile. A large amount of money and resources are spent on fighting fakes. However, it is not just the companies which are facing the wrath of counterfeit products, consumers also bear its brunt. To say it simply, there are many impacts of duplication on the consumers.

Duplication poses a significant risk to consumers. Counterfeit goods can lead to injuries, illnesses, death as in the case of counterfeit drugs. In cases where counterfeit goods cause no physical harm, consumers are harmed financially when they are duped into spending their hard-earned cash for a poor-quality fake.

Let’s discuss the negative effects of counterfeiting on consumers.

Fake products are harmful to the health of consumers: Whether it’s a counterfeit drug, counterfeit alcohol or a fake food item all are harmful to the health of the consumers. People who consume these items generally report of food poisoning, nausea, indigestion, kidney and liver ailments.

Duplicate products lead to the monetary loss of the consumers: Besides having a negative impact on health fake products also lead to the financial loss of the consumers. Every year it’s not just the companies but consumers also lose an enormous amount of money as they are duped due to fake products.

Consumers lose trust in the product and the brand: Many a time a product or a service is beneficial for the consumer but due to the sale of counterfeits original products and companies lose their credibility. This brings down the reputation of the brands in the long run and a company is not able to win the trust of the consumer again.

Barcoding to become mandatory for drugs in India

The Union Health Ministry in India is going to make barcoding necessary for drugs after an alarming report by US Trade Representative (USTR) which revealed that India was one of the largest producers of fake medicines in the world.

The Drug and Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) had earlier recommended that an Indian law should be made that makes barcoding mandatory for all medicines. This would allow pharmacists, customers and the government to trace medicines across the supply chain and identify where a drug was manufactured

The barcoding would help pharmacist, consumers and government bodies to track and trace medicines across a supply chain. The Indian government is taking the measure after a USTR report which mentioned that up to 20% drugs sold in India are fake and could pose a serious risk to the health and safety of the patient.

As of now barcoding is mandatory for medical devices and exported medicines but for drugs sold domestically, it is voluntary. Raja Selvam, Managing Attorney, Selvam and Selvam said that barcoding would help in preventing the infiltration of fake drugs in the supply chain which will ensure the safety of patients.

DTAB said that mandatory barcoding would help in preventing the problem of false labelling and thus will help the manufacturer in identifying the falsely labelled product. Vikrant Rana, Managing Partner at SS Rana & Co in New Delhi, said that the change was timely, but it will be challenging in the village areas where there is hardly any internet connectivity and electricity making it tough for scanning to be possible.