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Vision Systems Take On the High Cost of Counterfeit Drugs

This statistic really jumped out at me: the World Health Organization estimates that 5-10% of global pharmaceuticals are counterfeit and that the number of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is increasing by 6% to 8% per year.

I recently read about a recent recall of 100,000 bottles of counterfeit cholesterol-reducing medication that cost a major North American pharmaceutical manufacturer $55 million.

To fight this problem, pharmaceutical regulators around the world are in the process of establishing stricter regulations for pharmaceutical manufacturers, co-manufacturers, distributors and retailers to prevent counterfeit drugs from making their way into the hands of consumers. Needless to say, this effort is creating significant challenges to drug manufacturers that require new product inspection and identification solutions.

Machine vision technology ensures manufacturers, regulators, and consumers that counterfeit drugs are identified and removed from the supply chain before they cause any harm.

At the plant level, vision systems help drug manufacturers produce and distribute only perfectly identified products, allowing counterfeits to be more easily removed. It also helps validate the presence, accuracy, and readability of the various drug labels to safeguard package integrity in all areas of the supply chain. Unlike manual inspection, machine vision delivers error-free inspections on the fastest production lines so complying with regulations and standards does not mean a decrease in production levels or bottlenecks in the supply chain.

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