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Building authentication ecosystems crucial to prevent falsified medicines: Experts

At a webinar “Protecting the lives and pharmaceutical supply chain during COVID-19,” experts conveyed that setting up an authentication and traceability ecosystem and stringent imposition of a regulatory framework is crucial to deal with the menace of falsified medicines

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With the rising demand for medicines and pharmaceutical equipment to tackle COVID-19, instances of sub-standard, spurious, falsely-labelled, falsified and counterfeit medical products (SSFFC) have significantly escalated, not only threatening consumer health, but also jeopardising public trust towards the healthcare system, experts said at a webinar “Protecting the lives and pharmaceutical supply chain during COVID-19” organised by ASPA and Messe Frankfurt India earlier this month.

“Every year, the global pharmaceutical supply chain loses $200 billion in revenue due to counterfeited drugs and other spurious pharmaceutical products,” stated Nakul Pasricha, President, Authentication Service Providers’ Association (ASPA).

He also provided an overview of the counterfeiting issue in India, some recent incidents of counterfeiting and the role of authentication solutions in combating this menace. On behalf of all ASPA members, he also paid tribute to UK Gupta, Suresh Sati and Urvinder Singh, three pillars of the industry, who recently passed away.

“There is a need for an ongoing focus on building and nurturing authentication ecosystems in the country, and, as an industry association, we are committed to that. The involvement and active participation of all stakeholders is extremely crucial in this, as a lot of awareness is required at the industry, government and consumer level,” he emphasised.

During the discussion, Dr Praveen Gedam, IAS, Additional CEO, National Health Authority (NHA), elaborated on the possible benefits of a comprehensive drug registry.

“The NHA is in talks with the Centre for Devel