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Stolen, repackaged, illegally refilled and relabeled: Whether or not a medicine is a copy is often not readily visible. Many counterfeiters have perfected their skills so that even customs and police officers can be deceived. The inconspicuous Covert-Hologram Seal seems to be easy to fake – but when it is opened an effect emerges that no counterfeiter expects.

In September 2017, “Operation PANGEA” was run for the tenth time – an annual activity coordinated by Interpol to combat the sale of counterfeit and illegal medicines on the internet in which more than 100 countries participated. 25 million illegal and counterfeit medicines worth more than 50 million U.S. dollars were confiscated: a record number that shows how important fast and reliable authentication of an original product is. For customs officials, physicians, pharmacists and consumers.

Product pirates often use a simple but perilous method to put falsified medicines on the market: They open the product pack and exchange the contents. If the medicine pack is sealed with a conventional label, product counterfeiters simply cut through it and reapply the seal – this will often go unnoticed by patients. The Cut-Through-Indicator Seal, however, thwarts such tampering attempts.

“Standards are developed by those who will subsequently apply them.” This is one of the tenets of “Deutsches Institut (DIN) für Normung,” Germany’s major standardization organization. For instance, that is why Günther Galfe, the president of our Schreiner PrinTrust business unit, is a member of the “Actions against Product Piracy” working group. In this context, he contributed his comprehensive expertise to the creation of a guide titled Measures against Counterfeiting – Guidelines for the Preparation of Protection Concepts against Counterfeiting, Illegal Reproduction and Trade of Illegal Goods published in May 2017.

Counterfeit drugs are a hot topic. This was highlighted by various programs on German television recently, culminating in a prime time movie on Germany’s national television channel 1, titled “Gift” (“Poison”).