Recap: “The cost of counterfeiting” in your medical device supply chain

Oct 5, 2023
By Systech

I was fortunate to moderate a webinar with Systech’s Bill Carpenter on addressing counterfeiting and diversion in the medical device supply chain. Here are some key takeaways from a thought-provoking discussion.

Product diversion is a health threat.

The issue of diversion is interesting because it is the trafficking of legitimate goods. During the webinar, Bill described a scenario involving access to essential healthcare products in low-income countries being threatened because these products were diverted out. Establishing an authentication layer helps identify diverted goods outside of their intended destination. It also provides added security with the ability to verify that genuine, authentic products are being distributed in the intended market.

Counterfeit products can kill.

Next, Bill shared an example of an incredible situation where a surgeon, mid-procedure, was about to deploy a medical device on a patient, but something just didn’t feel “right” about the device. The surgeon put the suspect device aside and had another brought in which felt fine. The subsequent investigation discovered that the device was indeed counterfeit and led to the discovery of tens of thousands of counterfeit devices, and a well-organized criminal enterprise.

A proactive approach to product protection is needed.

The medical device industry is not immune to the global impact of counterfeiting and diversion. Addressing it involves creating a corporate program that has several layers of product and supply chain protection. Supply chain traceability and product authentication capabilities are essential to protecting healthcare products.

We had very pertinent questions come in from the live audience, which is always great to have. The recording is worth a watch!


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