Counterfeit drugs are a problem that won’t go away. In a recent segment on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Sanjay Gupta explored the dark underworld of drug counterfeiting. While covering the bust of a counterfeiting operation in Lima, Peru, Gupta — himself a doctor — said he couldn’t tell the drugs were fake. But luckily, several technologies have been developed in recent years that allow quick detection of counterfeits. One company developing such a technology is Mobile Data Systems. Drug Store News recently spoke with Mobile Data Systems representative, and longtime retail pharmacy veteran, Mark de Bruin.
Drug Store News: In a nutshell, how does FadeMark work?
Mark de Bruin: Mobile Data Systems’ FadeMark watermarks are inserted into the original artwork of products during labeling and packaging, and do not affect production schedules. FadeMark watermarks are invisible to the eye and cannot be tampered with or reproduced. The watermarks are only readable using proprietary software and common scanning equipment, typically already in use by the supply chain. FadeMark thwarts the counterfeiters’ ability to duplicate packaging, inserts or labeling of products, and provides a complete track-and-trace solution.
DSN: How can it be integrated into an anticounterfeiting system in the supply chain?
De Bruin: Mobile Data Systems’ FadeMark technology uses hardware and scanning capabilities already in place, without additional costly purchases for all participants in the supply chain. FadeMark can inexpensively replace or supplement other technologies already available.
DSN: What advantages does it have over other anticounterfeiting technologies?
De Bruin: FadeMark invisible watermarks are only readable using proprietary software, which is included with the license, and scanning technologies already widely in use, thus eliminating the need for additional hardware and software purchases by the supply chain. FadeMark watermarks do not affect production schedules and are inexpensive to produce and read, compared with other anticounterfeiting solutions. Mobile Data Systems’ watermarking technologies can provide both anticounterfeiting and consumer interactivity on the same package. FadeMarkʼs back-end technologies are operational today, and Mobile Data Systems is the only company globally that can manage hundreds of thousands of products’ content while offering the ability for both anticounterfeiting and consumer interactivity.
DSN: How can it be of the most benefit to retail pharmacies?
De Bruin: FadeMark watermarks inexpensively can provide a complete track-and-trace solution to retail pharmacies using existing pharmacy technologies. They can provide brand assurance directly to the consumer, as well as interactivity for the consumer on any product. Mobile Data Systems provides complete watermarking and 2-D bar-coding solutions to afford retail pharmacies brand protection and consumer interactivity.