Strategies to Combat Counterfeit Drugs and Other Supply Chain Threats


Instructor: Michael Esposito
Product ID: 706067
Training Level: Basic to Intermediate

  • Duration: 90 Min
Counterfeit drugs present a real and increasing danger both to patients and companies and require a proactive approach to stay ahead of them. This webinar is designed to provide an overview of the problem of counterfeit drugs and suggest ways to combat it, some that have been employed for years and others that have been developed more recently.
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Why Should You Attend:

It is hard enough to detect errors in the entire process of manufacturing and distributing one’s own pharmaceutical products, but Pharma companies must also address the challenge of counterfeit medications that at best are ineffective and at worst are deadly. Legitimate drugs can be diverted, or fake drugs can be created completely parallel with and invisible to your own supply chain, with their own distribution networks deliberately made complex to disguise them. Looking at the problem in its entirety can be overwhelming and frightening to pharma professionals and especially to consumers, who trust companies to provide them with safe and effective medications. The culprits could be your neighbors or a criminal entity operating halfway around the world. This trend is likely to increase because those involved in counterfeiting drugs are many, and laws have not caught up to the gravity of the problem.

Adding to the counterfeit issue is the problem of drugs that are diverted from the supply chain. Diversion can occur from the company’s warehouse to the hospital immediately before a dose is administered to a patient, highlighting the challenges of identifying exactly where a drug is compromised.

There are many best practices that can be implemented right now. Some do not carry a hefty price tag and depend on where your company sees vulnerabilities. Learn about these in this webinar.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • The problem
    • Counterfeits
    • Diversion of legitimate product
    • Risks to patients
    • Risks to companies
  • Solutions
    • Assigning a dedicated individual or group in your organization to monitor the security of your supply chain
      • Lessons learned
      • Thefts at manufacturing facilities
      • Thefts during warehousing and distribution
    • Working with regulatory agencies, industry organizations, international agencies such as the WHO, and law enforcement (e.g., Interpol) to identify and combat fakes
      • Current initiatives
      • Benefits to Pharma companies
    • Incorporating design elements into your packaging to make counterfeiting more difficult
      • Barcoding
      • Holographs
    • Using verification methods at different points in the supply chain to ensure the integrity of your product
      • Identify most vulnerable areas
      • Cost-benefit considerations
    • Taking advantage of new technologies
      • Blockchain
      • Apps
  • Review of learning objectives
  • Who Will Benefit:

    Pharmaceutical industry, particularly those employees in the Supply Chain, including: Product Security, Packaging and Labeling, Manufacturing, and Warehousing and Distribution.

    Instructor Profile:
    Michael Esposito

    Michael Esposito
    Principal, TrainReach Consulting, LLC

    Michael Esposito has 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and 13 years’ experience in GMP training and document management. He has worked for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division in a variety of areas including packaging, project administration, quality assurance, government contracts, translations, systems training, and international operations. He collaborated in the development and implementation of the training portion of the Consent Decree work plan for McNeil and revised their introductory GMP course. He is a member of the training organization GMP TEA and is fully fluent in Spanish. His areas of interest include systems training, training effectiveness, post-training user support, process improvement, and sustainable packaging.

    Topic Background:

    The challenge in preventing counterfeit drugs from infiltrating the supply chain is to make it airtight, and the verification methods sound, so fakes can be identified easily. However, the gains from counterfeiting are so attractive, and the punishments often so light, that many criminals, including those trafficking illegal drugs, continue to devise new and more elaborate schemes to peddle their fake or stolen products. Aside from the dangers to the patient, fake medications also have a detrimental effect on a product’s reputation and on its sales.

    Following our review of the problem, we will discuss the strategies that have been employed successfully worldwide to control the flow of counterfeit medications and other threats to the Pharma supply chain. Electronic methods to verify authenticity of your product, besides being required by law, are your first defense against counterfeiting. New methods that increase the supply chain visibility can be added to these for even better results. There are best practices to be learned from the industry, law enforcement, government agencies, international organizations, and industry organizations to combat this serious problem.

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