Billions of dollars in business revenues are lost to counterfeiting yearly worldwide. From fake pharmaceuticals and luxury items to bogus electronic goods with defective parts, counterfeiting poses great risks not only for businesses and consumers, but also to public health and safety.
According to official World Health Organization figures, 1 per cent of medications accessible in developed countries are counterfeit. However, the rate rises to 10 per cent in some African and East Asian countries and to 33 per cent in other underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, half of all drugs marketed online are fake.
According to a report by Sensible Micro Corporation, counterfeit products cost the world economy over $250bn per year and are expected to account for $991bn by 2022. Amid the shift to e-commerce platforms, the global market is expected to be flooded with more counterfeit products with detrimental consequences to businesses and economies.
To combat counterfeiting, corporations have invested much of their resources in key initiatives to make sure that only genuine parts enter their production processes and guarantee that only authentic ones will be offered to the end-users.
Significant technological advancements and innovations have also reinforced existing anti-counterfeiting measures and systems. Manufacturers and stakeholders have turned to state-of-the-art tools to avoid any fraudulent activity that is hurting their businesses and jeopardising public safety and health.
Many of these technologies entail easy, simple deployment but are difficult to reproduce, tamper with, or reuse. Companies involved in clothing, automotive and machinery equipment, pharmaceuticals, sporting goods, office items, optical lenses and mineral water, among others, have embraced cutting-edge solutions for better and stronger protection and compliance.
Watermarks, anti-forgery ink, holograms, colour-shifting ink, security thread, micro-printing, and barcode technology are some of the anti-counterfeiting technologies that are available in the market today. These are equipped with features capable of validating the authenticity of the products, as well as enabling the efficient tracing and tracking of items in various stages of the value chain. The track-and-trace capability allows for a serious reduction in counterfeit products in multiple industries.
Counterfeiting remains a serious global problem, with the face of this illegal practice continuously changing. However, with the rapid development and technological innovations and faster implementation of solution, businesses are being equipped more than ever to prevent fakes from entering the market and safeguarding their assets and the welfare of their customers.
The writer is the CEO of tech solution provider, Evoteq.