Using the barcode system drug manufacturers will be able to confirm authentic medicines are delivered to patients. Medisafe has barcode expertise from development of technologies to prevent unauthorised medicine administration and will now apply this to anti-counterfeiting.
"The counterfeit market is incredibly large and pharmaceutical companies are losing billions of dollars to counterfeit sales while patients in need of medication are at significant risk”, said Jacob Elhadad, CEO of Medisafe.
Expanding into anti-counterfeiting builds on the barcode technology at Medisafe and furthers its efforts to ensure all patients receive appropriate and authentic medications. Medisafe has also developed a barcode locking mechanism to ensure patients receive drugs intended for them.
In December the World Health Organization (WHO) delayed the meeting of its anti-counterfeiting working group, due to be held that month, until early 2011. The meeting will now be held from 28 February to 2 March, according to Intellectual Property Watch.
Specific recommendations are expected from the group at the 64th World Health Assembly in May, giving it four months to formulate these after the postponed meeting.
The group is to assess the WHO’s: role in ensuring supply of safe and affordable drugs; relationship with the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT); and function in the control of counterfeit and substandard products from a public health perspective.
New Zealand arrests
Police in New Zealand have made an arrest in connection with a three-year investigation into international distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. A hearing to consider an extradition request from the US is now pending.
"Counterfeit pharmaceuticals include those used as sexual stimulants, heart medications, pain killers and other medications which Police believe have been sourced from China and distributed internationally via the internet", said Detective Inspector Stu Allsopp-Smith.