Pharma Industry Overview

Counterfeiting is organized crime which we refuse to accept. As true-blue partners with the pharmaceutical industry, we bring in all our capabilities, know-how and passion in support of their efforts in patient safety & health. Thus, supporting their fight against counterfeits, we protect brand values and maintain and strengthen the trust in their brands & products.

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Pharma Industry’s fight for brand protection

The enormous challenge facing pharmaceutical companies is characterized by rising healthcare costs, continued growth in the transition from generic drugs to individual precision medicine, the use of new technologies such as AI to shorten the cycle of searching for a new drug, and meeting the rapidly growing demands of increasingly individualized healthcare needs. In addition, there are high regulatory and compliance requirements specific to each state or confederation, resulting in a multiplication of SKUs, documentation, customer information and more.

As a partner of the pharmaceutical industry, we understand these challenges. 

Our main task of product identification and product authentication in the pharmaceutical industry is implemented in our solutions in such a way that they use, strengthen and expand investments already made. We do this by enabling direct communication to patients and health care personal, provide and gather data while ensuring the medicine is genuine as well as centralizing artwork management, trusted partner management, integrating with ERP systems, real-time information and reach by streamlined consumer information.

We support you in finding the right solution

  • to protect patients health & safety
  • that eases to match all the global requirements
  • that can identify and verify the authenticity of your product and enables  communicating with the respective user

Our Promise

We ally ourselves with our partners in pharma to fight together against counterfeits and organized crime in their aim at protecting their products and brand values and maintain and strengthen the trust in the industry, their brands & products. Focused on patients safety and health, at all time we give you the driver seat in brand protection and ensure to start easily and scale as needed.

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Strengthening patient safety - How we work together

Along our U-NICA Protection Cycle we provide solutions for our pharma partners based on four target issues.

Control over  processes, protection of data and information, authentication of users of different stakeholders, identification and authentication of products.

For this we build tailored solutions build up of components of low invasiveness. We provide and constantly research and develop fully digital technologies for overt, semi-covered, covered and forensic protection and in addition can complement this with inert physical protective technologies. This allows us to individually target different risk scenarios by mixing and matching elements of  different levels of resilience together with multiple protection levels combined with serialization and  mature product verification in support of concepts towards different verification groups from inspectors to consumers.

Basic Information

What is Product and Brand Value Protection in Pharma?

Product and brand value protection beyond measures from regulation and compliance in the pharma industry is related to combined and orchestrated measures that limit the ability of counterfeiters to bring falsified or stolen medicine onto the market. It is not limited to a channel and covers online marketplaces as well as traditional pharmacies, hospitals and more. Of even greater importance is the protection of sensitive information by eliminating security gaps in the relevant processes.

Categories of product protection measures

In the pharmaceutical industry all product and brand protection measures can be assigned to one of three categories. These include legal measures, such as IP and brand registrations, prosecution and enforcement of rights, process-related measures beyond the regulatory and compliance requirements such as the integration and control of processes across internal and external stakeholders to prevent the leakage of sensitive information, and protective measures such as internet searches and the application of adequate protection on physical products. Measures of all categories are mutually reinforcing and equally important in your fight for protecting patients from counterfeit drugs. 

What advantages do I get from product and brand protection as a pharma marketeer?

Through intelligent utilization of data, product protection and marketing become complementary elements and not opposing forces, thus leveraging the benefit of investments in brand protection in marketing. The product flow, from production all the way to the customer’s hand, give you insights into unique market data that allow you to develop marketing-relevant knowledge. Anti-counterfeit measures demand a well thought-out, strategic approach. Product protection can be implemented visibly or out of view. Depending on the strategy and technology such as augmented reality (AR), several interaction possibilities and possibilities can be used to engage with the patients, nurses and doctors and get medicine authenticated.

What kind of types or product protection solutions are there?

Most product protection solutions are based on a single feature. Whatever the feature is, it has a specific range of applicability which can be wider or more narrow. Therefore for the the pharmaceutical market and medicine protection, a portfolio of features is required to combine and leverage other specific efforts such falsified medicine directive (FMD), serialization, but with regard to  the way of supplying patients, protecting primary as well as secondary packaging might become a necessity. Further, solutions to fight falsified medicine may well differ in the level of protection they provide as well as in how invasive they are to your existing processes, their application and recognition. While most of the solutions are isolated, significant advantages can be achieved form integrated solutions.

What kind of protection exists and how does product protection work?

Protection in the medicine market operates on a principle of securely confirming the existence of an authentic mark. A confusing variety of mechanisms exist. The mark applied to the product can be visible, or invisible, passive or active. Mechanisms may further differ in the way they can be verified: by consumers, experts or forensics, online or offline, digitally, visually by the customer or automatically and more. Especially in the highly regulated pharmaceutical market, there is a misunderstanding of implied security by serialization respectively, the security that goes along with the uniqueness of a serial number. While the serial number is very helpful to understand deep details of the product, its trace, it does not ensure that what you held on  your hand is a genuine product. Our expertise is there to help you choose a tailor-made protection solution to fight against falsified medicine, without having to evaluate individual features.

How do I recognize a fake in Pharma?

The majority of counterfeits can be rather easily distinguished from a genuine product when both are compared side by side and you know which one is the original. Unfortunately, this is pretty seldom the case. In the pharmaceutical market, where there are quite some different models from production to supplying medicine to patients,  product protection and brand value protection solutions may need to detect a variety of complementary and superposed product features with which genuineness of products can be authenticated.  If the product is not being authenticated it might well be a counterfeit.

How to start

How do I protect my brand in Pharma?

In order to sustainably protect your brand, just a specific or all of its pharmaceutical product portfolio,  a bundle of coordinated measures is required. In addition to securing the underlying rights, the same steps are always used to build effective protection and enhance patient safety, independent of the marketplace: information on the situation, setting up of protective measures and to fight against misuse, enforcement of the law. These steps protect both online and physical marketplaces against counterfeiting, but just as important is the protection of relevant processes along the value chain.

How do I introduce product protection?

Counterfeiters, producing and distributing fake medicine, undercutting supply chains to substitute substances with falsified ones or infiltrate health organizations supply chains to sell fake medicine, prove to  make quite much efforts and therefore do produce almost identical counterfeits. To substantially protect your product, you need two kinds of protection measures. Such  ones that actively protects all the processes respectively associated data of and in between everyone involved in the creation, registration, production, packaging, transportation, distribution of the products, and such ones that use a set of features that allows  distinguishing your product from counterfeit ones.

How do I create a brand protection strategy in Pharma?

In the pharmaceutical market, missing securing of all necessary underlying rights to claim ownership of the brand name to be able to defended the rights in legal disputes, is much a issue. Also this is normally given, it does not prevent the brand value from being undermined, as this depends very much on the consumer's sense of trust. That's why you ultimately need to focus your brand protection strategy on patient safety. You accomplish this by making sure that actively all the processes respectively associated data of and in between everyone involved in the creation, registration, production, packaging, transportation, distribution of the products are protected and finally when supplying the patient, he can verify the genuineness of the product.

How do I communicate and market my brands and product protection?

While the pharma industry is already highly regulated, the primary focus of the pharmaceutical or medicines regulations, are of technical, administrative or legal nature. Issued by different bodies such as governments, agencies, industry bodies etc. comprising all kinds of documents such as policies, recommendations, procedure, guidelines and more, they are aimed at ensuring best practices, compliance etc. ensuring the efficacy, quality and safety, accuracy of information of medicines.

After all of this, ensuring a medicine of up to date known quality, it can be assumed, that the the medicine behaves within the documented scenario. 

But there is still the risk, that the patient gets willfully or unwillingly fake medicine administered undermining the trust in the brand value. 

Also if the medicine industry is highly regulated, this final mile of protection is still insufficient. 

If anti-counterfeiting measures are strategically and systematically taken, the solution needs to be as minimal invasive as possible and it needs to leverage additional benefits from the investments. Depending on the cycle you are in, brand protection and product protection can start silently with the aim of gaining more information about the facts. Depending on the situation, market verification information can be obtained through different bodies, such as investigative or customs organizations. This information can well support further communications as well as anti counterfeiting measures. An alternative approach to bring patient safety closer to the individual would be the integration of medicine authentication to apps that maintain at the same time information on the patient's compliance. Further possibilities might be the integration in augmented reality (AR) medicine information apps, gaining authentication information and allowing bi-directional communication with patient, pharmacist or doctor.  Communication is always a sensitive matter. Factors that help to define target-oriented communication are, for example, user groups who are to carry out the verification, whether they are experts or consumers, as well as market features, customer awareness and brand loyalty.

How safe is the protection solution?

The pharmaceutical industry in general is well aware that, as with other security and protection solutions, there is no single protection feature that is 100% reliable. The reliability of anti-counterfeit and product  solutions depends, among other things, on the mix of technologies used, the complexity and thus the impediments to imitation, the requirements for providing the protection, environmental influences and the handling by the verification users. Under these conditions, the aim is to find a balance with which the greatest possible effect can be achieved in the fight against counterfeits and to protect the value of the brand.  

How can the originality of products be verified?

Product protection and brand value protection solutions, to prevent fake medicine reaching the patients, do recognize specific product markings, partial information of the product and intelligently combine and match this information with different trusted sources to authenticate genuine products. Depending on the marking technology, a specialized device is required or a smartphone device with an app can be utilized. If the product can be authenticated, it indicates that product does meet one’s expectation of an origin product. Otherwise it might be an expired, stolen or counterfeit drug. 

Our Holistic Solution Approach

Scalable and Easy to Implement

U-NICA Protection Circle© for the Pharma Industry

The U-NICA Protection Circle© combines strategy, technology, operation and intelligence in one holistic approach. The result is a sustainable, scalable, lean and easy-to-implement process which integrates with your T&T and serialization systems, leverages and  enhances your investments in product protection and at the same time,  with systematic learning mechanisms strengthens your position in the fight against counterfeiters.

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The strategy defines the overall goal for the product and brand protection for the pharma industry. Its boundaries are defined by region, product segment, time, integration with existing systems, stakeholders and regulations. A sustainable strategy for protection against counterfeiting must be adaptable and support future measures which are defined by insights gained from the analysis of real-time verification data such as distribution, markets, etc. The strategy also defines processes, the supplier qualification, the level of protection, when and where protection solutions are introduced, whether and how protection is used for specific segments, which user groups are involved, and how to communicate with users and the market.


To quickly adapt a strategy for product and brand protection for pharamceutical companies and brands, it is essential to choose the right technology from the scryptoTRACE® solution suite, a modular system with an open architecture. When choosing technology elements, the focus is on the level of protection, type of verification users and fast adaptation. But to fight the counterfeiters it needs also to be defined to what extend to integrate with the environment of relevant stakeholders, processes and systems.



Following the strategy, a security concept and the chosen and existing technology, these elements need to be put in operation for the benefit of the pharma clients. At this stage, our clients benefit from a lean and easy-to-implement solution with minimal invasive impact on their current, already highly regulated processes and procedures. To keep the solution lean, it can be started small and easily scaled up.

It adapts fast to new situations and involves stakeholders and the desired user groups. The smooth operation does not require training staff for specific tasks, corporate changes or additional processes. Solutions are designed to be minimal invasive.


Every step taken has an impact on the situation and these interactive dynamics have the potential to teach us a lot. Expanding the protection of pharma products beyond the regulations, track and trace with specific anti-counterfeit elements will also broaden your data. Thus, you will gain real time insights through aggregated data derived from verification and authentication processes; through geo-location mapping you can identify counterfeit hotspots, grey market diffusion and leakages during distribution. The valuation of this data will clearly help decision-making for further product and brand protection measures as well as your steps in actively fighting against counterfeiters.

scryptoTRACE® suite

In need of pharma companies, the scryptoTRACE® suite solution provides the architecture and the building blocks allowing to think big and start selectively. scryptoTRACE® adapts fast to the solution that exactly fits your needs and as such enforces the effect of already done investments. With its simple integration and easy to change abilities, it protects, enforces and enhances your products and brand value.


Talk to us, we are ready to back your fight

You are turning to us – great. But don’t worry, even though we would love to tell you about us and the comprehensive solutions we offer, we will never flood you with phone calls and emails. Instead, direct interaction with our brand value and product protection solution advisers will help to configure a solution proposal catered to your needs. We would only start further actions if you believe that we could be a good fit for your business – the decision is yours to take.


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While general answers are fine for orientation and planning, some questions need a more close focus and specific answers. For specific topics, we may provide answers out of specific discussions.