Pharma anti-counterfeit market set to rise "substantially"

The pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technology market will almost double in the next few years, rising from $3.4bn last year to $6.5bn by 2020, says a new study.

The Visiongain report - entitled The Pharmaceutical Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies Market Forecast 2016-2026: RIFD, Taggants, Barcodes, Holograms/OVD and Others - notes that these technologies are still an emerging sector in pharma, but their use will expand quickly as "criminal activity associated with counterfeited medicines rises."

The global pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.6 per cent from 2014 to 2020, dipping to a still healthy 9.5 per cent CAGR between 2020 and 2026.

The US and the EU dominated shares of the market in 2015. However, emerging markets will increase their market shares throughout the forecast period as the demand for such technologies will be greatest in areas where illegal counterfeiting is greatest.

Africa, Asia and South America remain popular destinations for counterfeiting operations, notes Visiongain, but the problem is now widespread in developed countries too.

"Over the course of the forecast period, traditional barcode technology and new radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology will compete for market share," says Visiongain's report.

The company sees 2D barcodes coming into the ascendency initially, driven by traceability legislation in the US, EU and other markets, although - surprisingly - it suggests RFID will become "the outright leader by 2017 and retain that position until the end of the forecast."

Much of the new legislation coming in over the next five years will be in the emerging national markets such as Brazil, India and Russia.

This year the barcodes submarket holds the highest proportion with a market share of 29.8 per cent, and will grow at a CAGR of 6.5 per cent from 2014-2020 and 2.7 per cent from 2020-2026. RFID will be the fastest growing submarket from 2014-2020 with a CAGR of 22.3 per cent.

Holograms/optically-variable devices (OVDs) will start as the fourth and finish as the second leading submarket in 2026, while taggants - such as security inks or dyes, biological markers or nano- and micro-particle taggants - will finish as the smallest submarket.

The US, EU and Japan were the top three leading national markets in 2015, but Visiongain predicts China will overtake Japan as the third largest market in 2020 and will be the fastest growing national market overall.

Visiongain pharma analyst Robert King said: "The introduction of tougher criminal penalties for counterfeiters coupled with government involvement demanding e-pedigrees on all pharmaceutical products will help to expand the anti-counterfeiting technologies market."

"The increasingly global pharmaceutical supply chain will also act as a catalyst for growth in this market," he added. "China and India, for example, are among the largest exporters of pharma products; therefore growth in the anti-counterfeiting technologies market of these two big economies will boost the global market."

To implement anti-counterfeiting technologies on a global scale there must be cohesion between different national regulatory authorities, according to King.

"Cooperation between countries on an international level must improve – many are now working towards standardisation."

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