Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How To Cure The Distribution Channel of Pharmaceuticals Which Includes Counterfeit Products

Business Research Yearbook, (chief editor Margaret Goralski) 2011 is out. The subtitle is "Balancing Profitability and Sustainability: Shaping the Future of Business". It includes "Problems of Counterfeit International Pharmaceutical Products" by Branko Cavarkapa (Eastern Connecticut State University) and Michael G. Harvey (University of Mississippi & Bond University Australia).

I don't understand really why it is located in Chapter 7 Cross Cultural Marketing, just after a Review of Culture and Materialism, when it could also be included in the chapter on Ethical and Social Issues.

Cavarkapa and Harvey point out that China, given its size and the prevalence of fake pharmaceuticals, poses a global threat. They argue that using trade restrictions could be an answer to IPR infringements: "One possibility to curb the flood of fake products coming from overseas is to reconsider the rights granted to these nations that provide them with quotas and exemptions from duties under the different bilateral and multilateral agreements, which could be used as a bargaining point if they fail to protect copyrights, trademarks, and patents."

Cavarkapa and Harvey determined that counterfeiters have three primary means of access to the system:
  • direct sales to drug distributors;
  • sales to pharmacists (retailers); 
  • direct sale to customers over the internet.
They also list the key players.
  • government;
  • the pharmaceutical manufacturing association; 
  • pharmaceutical manufacturers; 
  • pharmaceutical distributors; 
  • retailers (pharmacists); 
  • consumers. 
All these parties should communicate and coordinate and actively do surveillance to find counterfeit pharmaceuticals, if possible with monetary incentives.

Read Cavarkapa and Harvey's chapter here (page 135-141).

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