Today, counterfeit drugs, despite the technological advances, are damaging millions of people’s health. Also destroying manufacturers reputation which causes huge economic damages.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 25% of medicines in developing countries and 50% of medicines purchased online are counterfeit.
According to a study conducted in the United States (Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report: March 2017), 95.7% of online pharmacies were found not compliant with state and federal laws or the standards of the National Pharmaceutical Association. This research supports the notion that medicine sales made over the internet are a source of counterfeit medicine sales.
In Germany in 2015, authorities confiscated more than 4 billion counterfeit medicines. In developing regions such as Africa, the rate of counterfeit medicines is up to 70%.
While the markets of less developed countries are the most effective place for counterfeit sales, counterfeit sellers are using digital channels to enter the market of developed countries where medicine distribution chains are well preserved.
Surveys reveal that more than half of the medicines produced on the market for life-threatening diseases (malaria, tuberculosis, HIV / AIDS, cancer, etc.) are counterfeit. Asia and North America are the most affected areas by this problem.
The growing number of counterfeit medicines reveals a number of deficiencies in the regulation of global pharmaceutical industry in state and industry regulations.
The Institute for Drug Safety has revealed that there was 971 seize and raid for counterfeit medicines in 2015, and estimated with these info the counterfeit sales have increased by 34 percent compared to the previous year. Two years ago, the US Food and Drug Administration identified illegal online pharmacies and closed more than 13,000 websites.
Although these data are known by pharmaceutical industry leaders, most of them underestimates the threats even though they accept their weaknesses for they have already invested heavily in the measures taken to fight with counterfeitting medicines.
Technologies such as the drug tracking system, which is developed as a solution to all these problems, promise to develop security measures against fraud and to obtain high risk/reward results that industry leaders desire.