16 April 2020 | Features | By Nakul Pasricha
Counterfeiting has been measured as about $200 billion problem in terms of statistics
Image credit- shuttershock.com
Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 aiming to build a strong primary health care system. There are various issues, which need to be addressed including achieving UHC, ensuring availability of affordable and quality health services. Achieving this is difficult without eliminating sub-standard and falsified medicines from the system. According to a study by the International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM), globally, counterfeiting has been measured as about $200 billion problem in terms of statistics.
Even at this pandemic situation, while all stakeholders in the health community are putting their best effort in fighting it, there is a group of people making hay while the sun shines. Counterfeiters thrive in situations where there is enormous demand and restricted supply, and such a situation is now present, especially when it comes to specific categories of essential products such as pharmaceuticals and medical supplies like masks, gloves and sanitizers. There have already been incidents reported of people selling fake sanitizers and masks at huge profits to unsuspecting consumers. As this crisis unfolds, it is only to be expected that many more such incidents arise.
So, what is to be done about this? We believe protecting against counterfeits is everyone’s responsibility, especially at this time. Below are some measures that each of us can take to minimize the overall threat.
Ensuring that consumers are not duped by counterfeit products, especially those related to health, should be of primary importance for the government at this critical time. We would suggest a few measures for regulators at the central and state level:
Brands need to play bigger responsibility, as a brand is built on trust. If that trust is eroded, especially at a time when consumers need it most, it could have long-term impacts on business. It is, therefore, of vital importance for any brand owner to take steps to protect their brand at this time. Some suggestions are listed below:
As experts said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity”. We are in the midst of one today, and we must ensure we take the opportunity to protect ourselves and our loved ones – protect them against the pandemic by taking the recommended precautions, but also protect them against the harm of these illegal, harmful, counterfeit products. Together, we can emerge stronger, safer and healthier.
Nakul Pasricha, President, Authentication Solution Providers’ Association