In the labyrinth of the global pharmaceutical industry, a silent and deadly threat stalks – counterfeit drugs. This invisible enemy endangers lives, erodes trust in the health systems, and highlights a dark underbelly of the global health sector. But the pervasive issue is not unchecked, with an adversary emerging in the form of Trust.med. Armed with powerful technology and a clear mission, the company is striving to protect consumers and empower pharmaceutical manufacturers.
However, the extent of the counterfeit drug crisis is alarming. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has revealed a sobering statistic stating that potentially 95% of websites offering prescription drugs operate illegally. This dangerous scene, amplified by the anonymity of online commerce, poses a considerable risk to global health.
Why is it such a problem? Among other things, counterfeit pharmaceuticals frequently contain incorrect active ingredients or dosage levels, leading to potentially fatal health risks for unsuspecting consumers.
The Rising Tide of Counterfeit Drugs
Counterfeit drugs are nothing new, but the problem is growing. In 2022 alone, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized the equivalent of more than 387.6 million lethal doses of illegal and counterfeit Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine.
The impact of these counterfeit drugs extends far beyond just the individual victims. Counterfeit drugs damage the credibility of the healthcare system and hamper the progress made by pharmaceutical companies in creating life-saving treatments. It’s a billion-dollar industry that thrives on the vulnerabilities of the supply chain, and the damages it causes are both economic and social.
An equally concerning case involves pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson and Gilead, which found themselves in court suing a wholesaler for its alleged role in distributing counterfeit HIV pills.
Regulatory Retaliation – DSCSA Act
Recognizing the gravity of this crisis, regulatory authorities have stepped up. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has enacted the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). The act requires pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesale distributors, repackagers, dispensers, and third-party logistics providers to offer end-to-end traceability of prescription drug products as they navigate the supply chain.
The purpose of the act is to create a system that can identify and trace prescription drugs within the United States, enhancing the security of the drug supply chain. The deadline for compliance is nearing, November 23, 2023, exerting additional pressure on these entities to secure their supply chains.
An Ally in the Fight Against Counterfeits
While many are concerned about the rising tide, Trust.med stands as a firm ally in the fight against counterfeit drugs. Its role? The company provides a robust digital supply chain solution that enables pharmaceutical manufacturers and other pharma supply chain participants to track, verify, and manage prescription drugs from the point of manufacture to delivery at the pharmacy.
Trust.med ensures secure, uninterrupted access to critical pharmaceutical product information, enabling seamless data exchange, recall notifications, and product verification. More than just a technological tool, Trust.med aids manufacturers in meeting the stringent DSCSA compliance requirements, enhancing the global discoverability of pharmaceutical product and location data.
Harnessing Technology for a Safer Future
Empowering pharmaceutical entities and safeguarding consumers plays a major role in the battle against counterfeit drugs. And it is Trust.med’s combination of technology and mission-driven dedication that lends much-needed transparency and accountability to the prescription drug supply chain.
Overall, the role of technology is pivotal, and it is not just because of the hope and security it can provide consumers. It can also instill confidence in manufacturers, distributors, and all other supply chain participants.