Proliferation of cheap but poor quality counterfeit products in the pharmaceutical and food sector and the resultant losses, are a growing concern, globally. Key anti-counterfeiting technologies include overt or visible feature enabling, covert feature enabling, forensic, and track/trace technologies. Counterfeiting not only leads to huge losses but also negatively affects brand image of industry operators. According to a recent study by Hexa Research, the global pharmaceuticals and food anti-counterfeiting market is set to reach more than $160 billion by 2020. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is implementing stringent anti-counterfeiting regulations and supporting development of anti-counterfeit devices.
Technological segmentation of the market includes authentication and tracking technologies. Tracking technologies can be split into RFID and barcodes. Barcodes offer advantages like traceability, accuracy and affordability. It was the leading technology in 2013. RFID will experience exponential growth with a CAGR of about 20% from the period 2013 to 2020. Authentication is split into inks and dyes, hologram, taggants, etc. Hologram accounted for the largest market share in 2013 and will grow at a rate of more than 15.9% from 2013 to 2020.
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Between pharmaceutical and food applications, pharmaceutical applications accounted for higher share of anti-counterfeiting products. Pharmaceutical sector places high value on quality and invests in superior technologies that prohibit patients from consuming low quality counterfeit products. Governmental regulations also play an important role in higher demand from pharmaceutical industry. However, food application is likely to witness fastest growth in the coming years, primarily due to rising awareness levels amongst market participants.
Backed by governmental interventions and advanced healthcare infrastructure, North America, with a market valuation of about $46 billion, was the largest regional consumer of pharmaceutical and food anti-counterfeiting products in 2012. Europe was second to North America with a market share of more than 16.8%. Hexa Research opines that the fastest growth of pharmaceuticals and food anti-counterfeiting market in future years is likely to come from emerging economies such as Asia Pacific countries and Latin American countries, among others. Large scale counterfeiting practices, rising income levels and healthcare infrastructure developments in emerging markets of India, China and Brazil will drive this growth. Key players of the global pharmaceuticals and food anti-counterfeiting industry are Data System International, Sun Chemical, Datamax, Intermec Technologies, Alien Technology, Inksure Technologies, Unibar Inc., etc.