SICPA has teamed up with Clariant, to bring anti-counterfeiting measures to an industry that badly needs the extra security
LONDON – FINANCE – Clariant, one of the world’s biggest and most renowned chemical companies in the world, has joined forces with SICPA, the groundbreaking Swiss multinational security firm, to create a tracking and authentication system for medical devices and plastic pharmaceutical packaging. This major step in ensuring the legitimacy and authenticity of life-saving (or life-threatening, if misused) medicine and medical devices is a tremendous development for the safety of the billions who use these products daily.
Specifically, SICPA (SICPA on Facebook) and Clariant’s innovative Plastiward system takes the form of an additive that can be added to the manufacturing of any plastic product by mixing them in with the polymer master-batches in the early stages of production. This additive essentially creates a unique tag on all plastic goods that contain it, which allows such products to be authenticated and traced through the simple use of a handheld scanner.
It can hardly be stressed enough just how big a deal this is. According to the World Health Organization, a staggering 8% of all medical devices out there right now are counterfeit, while Interpol reports an even more staggering 75 billion dollars of pharmaceuticals flood the market each year. This accounts for literally millions of people throughout the world relying on medical products that can just as easily kill them as save them or create expensive, debilitating and often quite deadly side effects to treatments for even the most benign of illnesses.
Plastiward aims to combat this with extreme prejudice through a combination of this cutting edge technology and the system they have put in place to ensure that medical products can be traced, tracked and verified in every part of the the process; from the manufacturing of the devices or pharmaceutical packaging all the way to the point where the product in question is sold to the eventual consumer.
At the start of the process, SICPA’s trademark tangent additives are delivered to Clariant to add immediately to their highly regulated plastic materials, either as in a concentrated master batch or to the finished polymer compound. These tagged materials all become part of the eventual medical product and can be easily traced thanks to SICPA’s state of the art, cloud-based tracking system that can find the product anywhere on earth and can be just as easily verified and secured through the use of a simple handheld scanner anywhere along the distribution chain.
With developing industrialized countries constantly pushing up the demands for more and more pharmaceutical and medical goods – and with these countries being most vulnerable to both being served and distributing counterfeit products – the need for the Plastiward system has simply never been higher and more crucial.
As Steve Duckworth, the Head of Global Segment Healthcare Polymer Solutions at Clariant puts it: “PLASTIWARD offers medical-device and pharmaceutical-packaging companies a two-in-one approach [that] combines Clariant’s track record in developing polymer compounds and master batches tailored to the unique requirements of clients in those sectors with SICPA’s proven expertise in protecting brands and products.”