Vulnerabilities in the Supply Chain

December 21, 2012
Categories: Counterfeit, Supply Chain

In October, Interpol conducted Operation Pangea, a global effort involving 100 countries and resulting in confiscation of 3.75 million illicit and counterfeit pills valued at $10.5 million and the closure of more than 18,000 websites.

The pharmaceutical industry is highly complex and global today, resulting in tremendous vulnerabilities in the supply chain. An Economist article describes the global nature of pharmaceutical supply chains, pointing out that ‘In America 80% of drugs’ active ingredients come from abroad.’

The problem is on the rise. Today, the counterfeit pharmaceuticals trade is valued at $1.6 billion according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.’s latest white paper Health and Safety Risks from Counterfeits in the Supply Chain illustrates points of vulnerability in the supply chain. It highlights how counterfeits have been shown to enter legitimate pharmaceutical supply chains at nearly every step in the process, taking many different forms.

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