Improving Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts in Emerging Markets through Private-Public Partnerships

This past weekend, Dr. Paul Orhii, Director General of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), announced that the agency has confiscated counterfeit drugs and foods worth NGN 27 billion (approximately US $135 million) in the past five years. Government agencies play a crucial role in reducing the amount of counterfeit goods, but it is especially difficult for government agencies in emerging markets such as Nigeria where counterfeiting is more prevalent and the technological resources and regulatory enforcement are limited. How can partnerships further improve anti-counterfeiting efforts in emerging markets? Private-public partnerships between anti-counterfeiting solution providers and the government can have a strong impact on addressing social issues. Each party plays a valuable role in working toward the greater goal: the government has regulatory power and local knowledge, while solution providers have technologies and products to which the government otherwise may not otherwise have access. Through such partnerships, both solution providers and the government can compound their strengths to have greater success with taking action against counterfeiters and engaging other businesses and the public to support anti-counterfeiting efforts.

One such example is the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) IPM global network of track & trace and authentication solutions. Through this initiative, Sproxil and other solution providers can facilitate communication with their clients and customs officers in real-time in order to more easily identify and seize counterfeit goods.

Another example is Sproxil's partnership with NAFDAC, who endorsed Sproxil’s Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) (generically termed Mobile Authentication Service or MAS) before it was even deployed in the country. From the success of the service, NAFDAC issued a drug safety mandate requiring all antimalarial drugs to be protected by a MAS. Sproxil was the first provider to be approved.

The WCO’s IPM Network and public-private partnerships such as that between Sproxil and NAFDAC are great examples of how business and government can join together to improve the lives of citizens. Through these concerted efforts, citizens are protected from harmful counterfeit goods and counterfeiting becomes less profitable.

How else can partnerships improve anti-counterfeiting efforts in emerging markets?