Improving patient adherence and enhancing lives

6-Jan-2017

One of the key issues facing pharmaceutical providers today is the threat of counterfeit medication

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, 10% of all pharmaceuticals sold globally are illicit.

In particular, counterfeiting places a strain on the developing world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 30% of all medicines in Africa and the Far East are estimated to be fake. This challenge is, in part, being addressed through tougher laws and regulations, which are being developed by governments across the world. Countries such as China, Turkey, South Korea, the United States and the European Union have been working to introduce legislation that aims to tackle counterfeiting by implementing serialisation and tamper verification requirements.

This new legislation presents manufactures with certain challenges, particularly when it comes to areas such as packaging, business structures, IT systems and supply chain management. Of course, the objective of this legislation is to ensure that patients have access to genuine drugs, and, when taken properly, these products can improve their lives. As a result, the priority for manufacturers has to be ensuring that any transition is seamless from a consumer perspective, ensuring that the changes do not impact patient adherence.

Alarmingly, this is already a major challenge: according to WHO, improving patient adherence to existing treatments would be more beneficial than developing new ones. Currently, 50% of patients with chronic diseases in developed countries do not take their medication as prescribed, and this figure is even higher in developing countries.1

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