• New Delhi
  • 7 August 2013
  • Features
  • By Siddhartha Sengupta

India breeding ground for counterfeiting :Siddhartha Sengupta

In this contributory article, Mr Siddhartha Sengupta, Regional Sales Director,Merck talks about the menace of counterfeiting that exists in Indian drug market and the remedies to tackle the same


Counterfeiting is credited to be one of the fastest growing industries in modern India. Only, this isn't a growth graph that we are to be proud of. A practise that is theoretically defined as the act of replicating a renowned product without the brand owner's authorization, this illegitimate copy is often inferior in quality. Generally, counterfeit goods are sold under a trademark that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the brand owner's trademark for the same goods.

India being a price-sensitive market, serves as a breeding ground for counterfeiting. The criminal network behind this activity thrives on the Indian consumer's ignorance, appetite for branded goods and their innate nature to bargain. While counterfeiting does induce heavy losses on legitimate businesses, it's the end consumer that stands to lose. To make up for the vast deficit that the government faces due to illegal duplication of goods, it imposes an additional tax burden on the citizens. Further, the tax-payer's money is drained on resources and organizations that are formed to curb such practises. Not to forget the major hit that employment takes due to the loss of jobs in manufacturing units.

As per a study conducted by Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), the global value of counterfeit and pirated goods is currently estimated at US$650 billion and is likely to double by 2015. But counterfeiting isn't an issue that solely hits our economic situations. It takes a turn for the worse when fake pharmaceutical goods and medicines hit the market and directly risk the health of our population. India, being the world's largest supplier of generic drugs, has become an epicentre for counterfeit and fake drugs. Consumption of these counterfeit versions is resulting in innumerable complications and health hazards. What was once confined to exotic and costly pills has now proliferated to cough syrups, vitamin supplements, painkillers and the like. BASCAP's research in 2009 indicated 15% of Indian population admitting to purchasing counterfeited medicines. This frightening statistic has not only beckoned FICCI to stand up and take action, but even individual brands that are waking up to protect the trust and reputation they've built over the years.

The first step towards Anti-counterfeiting involves the companies paying special attention to brand security and authentication when designing new products. This can be done by ensuring product and packaging differentiation. Such steps empower the consumer to identify the difference between fake and original products.

Modern day technology has enabled companies to incorporate protection methods without altering their logo or brand image and look. These methods can also be easily integrated into an existing product design in a cost-efficient manner.


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1 Comment Comment 1 - 1 of 1

alecthor 20 November 2013 at 11:28 AM

Homeland Security and anti-counterfeiting organizations are cracking down on bogus items that steal the hard-won good will of reputable band names. But for the first time these crusaders have decided to target the customer. If they have their way, consumers who intentionally buy phony goods could face fines or even prison time. Use an installment loan to get the real items you want. Take a look at www.personalmoneynetwork.com


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