Increasing instances of substandard, falsified and counterfeit medical products continue to pose a major challenge to the global healthcare system, which is already suffering from the dire impact of COVID-19. To address this issue, ASPA and Messe Frankfurt India will unite leading experts from the pharmaceutical segment for a live panel discussion on June 11.
Amid the onslaught of the second wave of COVID-19, the healthcare sector in India is under heavy pressure owing to the rising cases across different states. Moreover, the growing demand for medicines, protective gears and other pharmaceutical equipment has given rise to counterfeiting, tampering and diversion of these life-saving products, thus putting the health of millions at risk, not just in India, but also around the globe.
The COVID-19 vaccines themselves are prone to counterfeiting, putting the global pharmaceutical fraternity on red alert. To address this menace and to introduce greater authenticity in the pharmaceutical supply chain, ASPA (Authentication Solution Providers’ Association) and Messe Frankfurt India are all set to host a high-profile panel discussion on June 11.
As a part of The Authentication Forum, the webinar will address the theme of “Protecting lives and securing the pharmaceutical supply chain during COVID-19.” Senior leaders, regulatory officials and international experts will attend and share their perspective on the burning issue and discuss collective measures to eradicate the unethical and life-threatening practice of pharmaceutical counterfeiting. The group of panelists will include:
- Praveen Gedam, additional CEO, National Health Authority, Government of India
- Prashant K. Gupta, country head sales, Shriram Veritech Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
- Girish Pai, chief business officer, Pharmasecure
- S. Swaminathan, chief executive officer, GS1 India
- Rajiv Joshi, partner, forensic & integrity services, Ernst & Young LLP (Moderator)
The webinar will be supported by the authentication partners and solutions providers including Shriram Veritech, PharmaSecure and Holographic Security Marking Systems Pvt. Ltd.
Elaborating on the aim to host the webinar, Raj Manek (pictured left), executive director and board member, Messe Frankfurt Asia Holdings Ltd, says, “The increasing penetration of spurious pharmaceutical products has escalated into a major issue across the world. Many countries are still dealing with the pandemic and under such a critical scenario, it is crucial to find solutions to combat counterfeiting and introduce a new degree of authenticity in the pharmaceutical supply chain.”
Commenting further on the issue at hand, Nakul Pasricha (pictured right), president, ASPA, says, “The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed India’s healthcare system. There are various issues which needs to be addressed immediately, including eliminating sub-standard and falsified medicines from the system as well as ensuring availability of affordable and quality health services. As an association, ASPA is committed to build the authentication eco-systems in the country, and these webinars are our way to contribute to fighting this menace by bringing this issue into the limelight at all Industry and government forums.”
ASPA is the only body in India representing authentication and traceability solutions providers. The association aims to educate brand owners, government authorities and consumers about the importance of fighting counterfeiting and how authentication solutions can help in this regard. In partnership with Messe Frankfurt India, ASPA is determined to take this initiative forward to foster a well-authenticated and well-secured pharmaceutical supply chain.
According to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 out of 10 medicines sold in low and middle-income countries were tested as substandard and falsified. It is high time for the industry to develop a stronger framework for testing and authentication of pharmaceutical products. “We hope that uniting the industry players through The Authentication Forum webinar will aid in deriving resolute measures to resolve the counterfeiting menace that has been ailing the industry since ages,” Manek concludes.
Messe Frankfurt has been actively involved in addressing the counterfeiting issues across different industries, including automotive, pharmaceutical and FMCGs. Through conferences like Pharmasafe India, Medical Device Innovation Summit (MDIS) [now known as MedTech Innovation Forum] along with The Authentication Forum, Messe Frankfurt India aims to draw attention to the factors concerning counterfeiting of medicines and effective initiatives, regulations, and policies required to curb this menace.