Sunday February 17, 2013
New hologram to beat China fakes
By AUDREY EDWARDS
PETALING JAYA: Counterfeiters in Malaysia have been finding it easier to produce fake holograms for medication, thanks to their counterparts in China.
Health Ministry pharmacy enforcement division deputy director Mazlan Ismail said that this was due to the ability of those in China to “imitate” the hologram and sell them to counterfeiters in Malaysia.
“We have come across some products which have fake holograms,” he said.
In light of this, an updated version of the hologram, Meditag III, supplied by Syarikat Mediharta Sdn Bhd, was launched late last year.
“We are going to be ahead of the counterfeiters. The last time we had a new design was nearly eight years ago. They will not be able to copy the new design and it will be easy to identify the fake.”
Mazlan added that the same decoders provided at all licensed pharmacies and pharmaceutical enforcement branches nationwide would be able to read and verify the new hologram.
Various safety aspects have been taken into account, including the “layering” of the hologram to include serialised numbers to denote which pharmaceutical company registered the product.
“There are other features, forensic-wise, which will help us,” he added.
He said that the new holograms would be fully introduced in the market within the year.
Counterfeit medication are often identified through various methods carried out by the division, including conducting raids and inspections.
Besides verification using the decoder, consumers are also encouraged to buy products from legitimate shops as the pharmacist would be able to advise and counsel them before purchase to avoid confusion either because of similarity of appearance or indication of certain medication.
They can also verify the product registration number and obtain information about the registered product by going to the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau's website, www.bpfk.gov.my.