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Is Your Medicine Legitimate?

Worrying new statistics demonstrate how UK consumers have unwittingly bought millions of counterfeit medicine.

“Trade in counterfeit and pirated medication now stands at 3.3% of global pharmaceutical sales”.

Report by the OECD and European Union’s Intellectual Property Office.

As doctor’s/hospitals and pharmacies face unprecedented pressure to get patients the medication they urgently need, there is increased worry that the public will unwittingly support the piracy trade and purchase fake, imported medicines.

Counterfeit medications often contain no active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), an incorrect amount of API or inferior-quality API. Some counterfeit medications may even be incorrectly formulated and produced in substandard, unhygienic conditions and contain filler ingredients such as plaster and flour.

“Counterfeit trade takes away revenues from firms and governments and funds other criminal activities. It can also jeopardise consumers’ health and safety.”

Marcos Bonturi Public Governance Director , OECD.

In extreme cases, counterfeiters add dangerous or even toxic substances to their products to achieve the same “effect” as seen with the original medicine to simulate authenticity.

How we the label industry are responding…

When faced with tackling the pharmaceutical piracy trade, it’s clear that a transparent supply chain, high manufacturing standards and enhanced security across all medications is the only way to boost customer safety and trust.

When the introduction of Falsified Medical Directive was announced (legislation which demands all pharmaceutical packs carry security features to authenticate their source) Southern ID invested heavily in staff training and material sourcing to develop new security products for our pharmaceutical and healthcare customers.

Sequential Numbered Box Labels ensure each and every box of medication has been accounted for and verified…

Our pharmaceutical label range now includes sequential numbered which allow exact quantities to be accounted and verified for, peel and reveal which allow enhanced information to be communicated to the patient and tamper seals manufactured from ultra-destructible material, which break into tiny fragments if attempts are made to remove the label.

Our tamper proof “VOID”labels adhere a visible void message should interference
take place…

Harry Perry, Key Account Manager at Southern ID says that the label industry have to develop strong relationships with the pharmaceutical trade going forward.

“It’s no use developing label solutions for businesses if they can’t be seamlessly incorporated into the manufacturing process. We like to work closely with our clients to ensure we develop the right solution which can be practically translated in-house.

From sourcing the right adhesives to capturing live data, we have the resources to help all our pharmaceutical clients become and remain compliant through this really challenging production time”.

To contact our label experts about pharmaceutical solutions, call 01903 502892 or email

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