SIPCA Set to Bring Anti-Counterfeit Solutions to Indian Pharmaceuticals Sector
SICPA has teamed up with Clariant, to bring anti-counterfeiting measures to an industry that badly needs the extra security.
The threat of counterfeit products has been rising in pharma and medical devices. This has given Swiss specialty chemicals company, Clariant, the opportunity to tap into the Indian pharmaceutical market. It is doing so through a collaboration with SICPA, a Swiss security company that has been providing ink solutions for banknotes and valuable documents for decades.
SICPA provides secured identification, traceability and authentication solutions and services to both corporations and sovereign governments. It is the only organization with production-monitoring systems that ensure the traceability of products. The 90 year old company, founded in Lausanne, Switzerland, is already an international organization with offices and factories on five continents, along with over 3 000 staff.
SICPA has teamed up with Clariant to bring anti-counterfeiting measures to an industry that works to ensure safe access to quality medicines. SICPA and Clariant have developed Plastiward, a plastic-based anti-counterfeiting system for pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices. Plastiward has been designed to integrate security features from SICPA into Clariant’s polymer compounds and concentrates. More than that, Plastiward offers an end-to-end security approach, from security assessment to on-going monitoring.
Steve Duckworth, Clariant’s head of global segment healthcare polymer solutions, explained: “Plastiward, besides being a packaging component, also forms part of a system that enables real-time monitoring on global, regional or local levels through the data uploaded on a SICPA platform. This provides pharmaceutical companies to actively track their products when in motion. Plastiward can add another element of risk reduction and protection, providing a robust, cost-effective, end-to-end, in-plastic system for protecting brands worldwide.”
This is a concern for the Indian medical device sector, which the Economic Times of India estimated to be worth USD 4.4 billion in 2015 and expected to reach USD 7 billion by the in 2016. India is competitively positioned as a market for outsourcing production in the sector, with its high technical expertise, low labour costs and government support for R&D investments.
At the same time, the Office of the US Trade Representative Report, published in April 2016, estimated that up to 20% of medical products sold in India are fakes. This is comparable to other areas of Asia, where the WHO estimates that some 30% of medicines sold are fakes. Those fakes could harm or kill. Fake devices could be make of inferior or toxic materials, while their content could be missing active pharmaceutical ingredient or carry the wrong dosage. They could result in injury or death of those who rely on essential treatments to stay healthy or get well again.
Duckworth continued: “Using our dedicated resources, we want to penetrate the Indian market in the same way as we have in North America, Asia and Europe. We are convinced that Indian pharmaceutical companies will understand the strength of our knowledge, and how it helps them in their goals to meet new and tougher regulations, but also give new ideas to support Indian creativity.”
Director of new channels and partnerships at SICPA, Yann Ischi, said: “There is a definite trend for more drug delivery devices (pens, inhalers, pre-filled syringes) to be developed and produced in India, rather than abroad. This means that the risk of counterfeits of Indian brands will continue to increase, even if perhaps it is not so visible. While Indian companies are currently busy implementing ‘track and trace’ to conform to legislation in the US and Europe, this is only a partial solution, is expensive to implement, and can be defeated. However, Plastiward adds a level of security, at the closest point to the drug.”
In addition to bringing better anti-counterfeiting measures to Indian medical device manufacturers, Clariant has also catered to its need for better healthcare packaging. They bring controlled atmosphere packaging that keeps healthcare products from damage caused by humidity and oxygen.
Clariant’s head of healthcare packaging in India, Ketan Premani, stated: “Since biotechnology and biosimilars industries are constantly growing, it has become imperative to enhance stability with specialized packaging solutions. Diagnostic kits for lifestyle diseases are also becoming a major opportunity area for desiccant products in medical packaging. The Cuddalore plant will ensure we have sufficient capacity to meet the growing industry demand as well as export to other markets in the world.”