RFID is the New Weapon in the Fight Against Counterfeiting

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Counterfeit goods cost the economy up to $250 billion a year, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seizing nearly $80 million in counterfeit pharmaceuticals and personal care products in one year alone. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 200,000 people die each year due to ineffective and substandard (counterfeit) malaria drugs. The WHO also reports similar issues in the medical device market. In 2010, over 8% of devices in circulation were counterfeit and that number increased by 50% in 2014. This demonstrates that this is an ongoing and increasing problem.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) equipment is one technology that can be used in the fight against counterfeits. RFID is used throughout the supply chain to verify authenticity from manufacturing to point of care. For example, pharmacists or clinicians equipped with RFID readers can ensure that drugs are authentic, safe to administer, and within the expiration date. Handheld or embedded RFID readers built into medical devices, water analyzers, and other laboratory systems can seamlessly identify correct and incorrect products. As counterfeit substances become more prevalent, the need to authenticate original, proprietary products becomes increasingly necessary.

By embedding RFID directly into medical devices, peripherals and healthcare delivery systems, manufacturers can foil counterfeiters to:

  • Reclaim lost revenue by permitting only sanctioned disposables
  • Protect brand integrity by thwarting counterfeits to neutralize negative association and market degradation
  • Improve product safety by ensuring that medical devices are assembled, configured and used in the safe and secure manner intended by the manufacturer
  • Limit legal liability by eliminating counterfeit and lesser quality substitutes
  • Prevent the use of unsecure assets with expired warranties or overdue service dates
  • Decrease the likelihood of human error in identifying counterfeits
  • Enforce expiration dates by only permitting consumption of reagents within pre-defined dates

Read the white paper to learn more about some of the major counterfeiting problem areas, particularly in the healthcare and medical industries, and how RFID is gaining popularity as a top anti-counterfeiting solution.