Vaccine Counterfeiting Ring Uncovered In Indonesia
by Maureen Perroni, on July 28, 2016
In many parts of the world, some patients are discovering that the lifesaving and life-sustaining medicines they rely on may not be what they seem.
Recently, for example, Indonesian police discovered a drug counterfeiting ring that has been selling fake vaccines for more than ten years, according to a Reuters report. The counterfeiters were able to create medicines that closely resembled those manufactured by GlazoSmithKline and Sanofi by using stolen vials and forged labels.
"At least 200 children now have to be vaccinated again."
It does not appear that anyone was harmed by these fake vaccines. Becker's Hospital Review noted that they simply consisted of a saline solution with the antibiotic gentamicin mixed in. However, at least 200 children now have to be vaccinated again to ensure that they are actually protected from serious diseases, such as hepatitis B, diptheria, tetanus and pertussis.
This may seem like something that can only happen a world away. But this isn't true. While the U.S. drug supply chain is among the safest in the world, drugs are increasingly shipped on a global scale, which increases the risk of counterfeiting. This is one of the main justifications for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, which will establish systems for more secure tracking and tracing of products across complex supply chains over the course of the next decade.
It's important for manufacturers concerned about maintaining safety standards to standardize their barcode labeling so that it is much easier to track legitimate products and spot fakes. An Enterprise Labeling Solution can automate and centralize this process to avoid labeling errors and comply with regulatory changes.
For more information download our customer webinar on pharmaceutical labeling best practices.