As demand for medical supplies soars worldwide in the fight against COVID-19, there is a parallel risk of substandard and counterfeit medicines in the global market. With India being one of the world’s largest producers of medical supplies, there is an urgent need to bring in strong anti-counterfeiting measures which will be addressed at Messe Frankfurt’s upcoming conference – Pharmasafe India 2020.
Together with healthcare workers on the frontline, the pharmaceutical industry has been actively playing a crucial role and strengthening efforts to ensure best medical services in the battle against COVID-19. However, the trade of counterfeit medicines, which can pose a direct threat to public health and life, has found resurgence in the wake of on-going pandemic. The recent warnings issued by the World Health Organisation indicate that a growing number of fake medicines linked to coronavirus are on sale in developing countries. There have already been multiple incidents reported on the sale of counterfeit facemasks, substandard hand sanitisers, substandard PPE’s as well as counterfeit anti-viral drugs to unsuspecting consumers.
With an aim to draw attention to the latest developments in the field of anti-counterfeiting technologies for the pharma industry, Messe Frankfurt India will bring key anti-counterfeit solution providers for dialog with the pharma sector at its highly influential Pharmasafe India 2020 conference. The 4th edition of the conference, which was earlier scheduled in April, has now been pushed ahead due to the nationwide lockdown and the new dates will be announced in the coming weeks, when the industry can safely and surely come together to address and reinforce measures for this global issue.
Ahead of the conference scheduled this year, Messe Frankfurt is also organising a series of Webinars during the lockdown period to serve the industry with valuable insights from an international panel of experts and thereby helping the industry in charting anti-counterfeiting strategies in the current situation. The first in the series of its pharma sector webinars is scheduled on 28th April and will feature discussions on “Pharmaceutical industry in the wake of global outbreak with a focus on combating substandard and falsified medicinal products and strengthening patient safety.”
Experts from the field of healthcare, pharma and anti-counterfeit solution providers such as Dr Uma Nambiar, Ex Special Advisor to the Minister of Health, Djibouti; Dr Krishnamurthy Venkateswaran, CEO, Sanitas Hospital Tanzania; Sireesha Yadlapalli, Director- External affairs, US Pharmacopia; Alan Boyce, Founder, Impact plus foundation; Nakul Pasricha, President & CEO at PharmaSecure and President of Authentication Solution Providers Association (ASPA), Dr Kasonde Mwenya, Managing Director, Center for Global Health Zambia and Jaishankar TS, Chairman & Managing Director, Chemech Laboratories will take up key points for discussion at the webinar.
While the over-arching theme of the webinar will bring attention to immediate topics of relooking at patient safety by eliminating substandard products in the wake of global outbreak, the organiser is working towards addressing burning topics around COVID-19 at the Pharmasafe India conference taking place later this year, surrounding the counterfeit market such as the race for coronavirus vaccine and government initiatives to prevent vaccine counterfeit, Operation Pangea 13: key findings and importance of consolidated global efforts in identifying counterfeit networks, strengthening supply chain and traceability technology to curb counterfeit amid pandemic, mishandling of medicines and addressing the issue of improper vaccine storage and how the pandemic is reshaping brand protection.
The conference has drawn strong support from leading associations in the pharmaceutical industry including Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA), Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and Chamber of Business Leaders.
According to a study conducted by the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical products worldwide is worth just over EUR 4 billion. The longer the pandemic lasts, the more strain supply chains and distribution channels will undergo, making it easy for counterfeits or sub-standard medical products to enter the market. It is crucial to simultaneously focus on anti-counterfeiting and brand protection strategies which Pharmasafe India 2020 together with its webinar series aim to achieve through the combined efforts of technology experts, decision-makers and the Indian pharma industry.