The Peterson Group with a set of individuals and experts aiming to stop the production, importation, exportation and usage of counterfeit medicines has partnered with various entities, public and private organizations as well as fellow non-profit institutes have developed machineries to know which medicine is counterfeited.
Fortunately, there are methods developed to use in order for us to determine real from fake medicines. Although there are no significant proof yet on how these machines and process can be used and which ones can be the best option to distribute to the market. The following are ideas given by the World Health Organization (WHO):
Probably the most familiar overt feature is the “dove hologram”. Holograms and similarly optically variable devices can be more effective when incorporated with a tampered evident feature. However, some holograms are easily copied as a lot of scammers are also experts in technological advancement.
2. Invisible Printing
Using special inks, invisible markings can be printed with some substrate, and which only appear in under certain conditions like UV light or IR illumination. They can be formulated to show different wavelengths and colors. This kind of new technology is currently being studied in Jakarta, Indonesia.
3. Laser Coding
This method comes with a very expensive cost. However, the results can be very impressive and would be very hard to simulate. Laser codes can be applied to cartons and packaging, plastic and metal components.
4. Chemical Taggants
Trace chemicals can only be done with special and unique devices. Also, it can only be detected by highly specialized reagent systems, but not normally detectable by conventional analysis.
5. Bar Codes
Bar codes are one of the most conventional method of uniquely branding some medicine packaging and distinguish it from fraud ones. The so-called nano technologies allow microscopic application onto available tablets. However, there are also a lot of techniques done by scammers that can duplicate bar codes.
6. Mass Sterilization
Serialization includes the processes of generating, encoding, and verifying the unique identity of individual physical items. Without mass serialization, the authenticity and validity of the pedigree relates only to the lot number consisting of thousands of bottles. However, a specific bottle of a particular drug cannot be authenticated.
7. Data Carriers
Data carriers are graphical systems used to convey the product identifiers and associated information in computer and/or human readable format. A mark, tag, or label applied at the source represents them. Computer readable formats include linear and two dimensional (2D) bar codes and radio frequency identifier (RFID) tags.