Pharma packaging firms: take note
Pharmaceutical companies must comply with EU
legislation combating falsified medicines
Medicines are designed to mend, yet online commerce allows for nightmare to become reality, as the ominous presence of falsified medicines is proving that one wrong click of the mouse can be fatal. Not to be confused with counterfeit medicines which enjoy a parallel notoriety by not complying with EU legislation on industrial and intellectual property rights, falsified medicines are arguably more menacing, disguising themselves as authorised pharmaceutical products. Performing the role of authenticity so well, falsified medicines conceal their toxic ingredients and incorrect dosages from the consumer, enabling them to burrow their way into the legal market.
Falsified medicines have been subject of worry since 1500 BC, when Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt sent hunters out to bring back genuine medicinal plants as the pharmaceutical market was inundated with fakes.
The pharmaceutical packaging industry has been tarnished with disrepute as falsified medicines have swarmed the supply chain, and the World Health Organisation attributes one million deaths annually to counterfeit drugs.
Substandard products have a particular notoriety in destitute nations where diseases are rife, and scientists commissioned by WHO estimate that falsified medicines might be responsible for a further 116,000 annual deaths from malaria. 2013 saw 44 children in Paraguay suffer in quick succession following consumption of a particular cough-medicine. Investigators traced the falsified product back to an import from India, and, whilst Paraguayan doctors were able to find an antidote before tragedy struck, cases such as this have sparked a surge in media attention, and pharmaceutical packaging companies have, without doubt, felt the impact.