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Counterfeiting protection insights and tips

Mark Miller of DuPont Medical & Industrial Packaging addressed “Counterfeit protection of medical devices,” at HealthPack 2005, held in late March in New Orleans. Below are many of the key points from his presentation.

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“In the medical device industry, counterfeiting is a new subject. We have a chance to be proactive, rather than reactive as some industries have had to be.” Miller offered the following insights:


  • “Counterfeiters of pharmaceutical products and medical devices are going after either products with high value, such as cancer and HIV drugs, or large-volume drugs like Lipitor.”


  • A trouble spot, he said, was “once packaged product leaves your dock, it typically doesn’t go directly to the end user. Product can change hands 10 times before reaching a hospital.”


  • Miller said lost sales dollars are not the only counterfeiting problem, but there are also losses in your brand’s equity.


  • “A consumer, doctor, or nurse may not recognize the difference between a real or counterfeit product,” he noted. In one instance, Miller revealed that a counterfeiter added a holographic feature beyond what the authentic package had used to fight counterfeiting, saying the counterfeiter could do that because it doesn’t have the overhead costs as does a pharmaceutical firm or medical device maker. The counterfeiter does, however, often have sophisticated packaging equipment that’s on par with that used by legitimate manufacturers.


  • In summary, he said, “If your package designer or engineer can create a prototype of someone else’s package, so can a counterfeiter.”

    For more information on HealthPack 2005, contact Innovative Technology Conferences, below.

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