Fighting the pharma fakes: Laava tackles a global problem

Counterfeit medicines are a global problem, with fake pharmaceuticals making up the world’s largest fraud market: over $A200bn per year. Read on to learn how Laava is working with Biogency Pty Ltd to protect its nutraceutical products from counterfeiters.
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What's the problem with counterfeit goods being available for sale? ​

Ultimately, it’s a matter of public safety; particularly in the case of food and pharmaceuticals. ​Whether we’re talking about fake, illicit or counterfeit products, the consequences can be drastic.

​​It seems like a long time ago, but hundreds of families in China are still suffering the effects of fake milk powder circulating in 2004. For some, the consequences were fatal. For others, the health effects continue. The fake milk powder was found to contain only “6% of the vitamins, minerals, and protein necessary for a growing infant.” (Source: The Guardian.)

The problem with counterfeit goods – apart from damaging the brand reputation and revenue of growers and manufacturers selling the real thing – is that they are:

  • untested
  • ​unregulated
  • ​ultimately, unsafe. 

The problem has only been compounded in the last couple of years by the growing trend for health supplements in the wake of Covid-19.

As this article in Pharmaceutical Technology outlines, the United Kingdom and the European Union have been moving towards mandating tamper-evident design as part of pharmaceutical packaging production.

Protecting pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals

Laava and our Laava Smart Fingerprints® are embedded in this innovative space, working right now with Biogency Pty Ltd to protect their brands from counterfeit and to tell their trusted brand story via connected packaging.

Laava Smart Fingerprints now feature on four of Biogency’s innovative nutraceuticals: 

  • NAD+ product Synext
  • hair health product Piliant
  • men’s health supplement VMAN
  • Beauty Skin, supporting skin and collagen health.

Biogency takes up the fight against counterfeit

Biogency’s high-quality, Australian-made products are all approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Its products are in high demand, available for sale in pharmacies and health stores in Australia as well as online and in South-East Asian export markets.

Their high-sales success have made Biogency the target of look-alikes and counterfeits in international markets, ever since their revolutionary formulation came to the prominence of health influencers in the region. Counterfeiters and copycats apply fake labels to substandard products, which are not assured by the TGA, creating a risk for consumers who fall for a fake. 

When Marketing and Sales Director, Jimmy Tang decided to take action against the counterfeiters, he sought a multi-layered approach. The result is an on-product label with a powerful combination of:

  • the secure and scannable Laava Smart Fingerprint and
  • the ability to match the batch number on the packaging with the batch number on the results screen.

The Australian Made tick – Australia’s most trusted, recognised and widely used country of origin symbol – gives further assurance to Biogency customers.

This combination has given Biogency customers absolute confidence that they are purchasing the real thing.

“Since using Laava Smart Fingerprints, the feedback from Biogency customers has been very positive. The unique design of the Laava Smart Fingerprint, and the scanning experience, makes Biogency products stand out from other products that use traditional QR codes.”

Jimmy Tang, Biogency

The scanning experience

When Biogency customers scan a Laava Smart Fingerprint on Synext, Piliant, VMAN or Beauty Skin, they see a results screen that shows the product is genuine – verifying that the product is not a counterfeit or fake. They also receive valuable information about the product, like where it was packed, its batch number and expiry date, features and benefits, and some background on Biogency and Australia Made.

Consumers love the connected packaging experience

Biogency’s devotees are more than happy to share their positive experiences with the wellness products they use as well as the scan experience itself. Biogency utilises a team of Instagram influencers to share how-to videos, health results and how they incorporate nutraceuticals into their lifestyles.

Biogency also taps into the platforms that are an everyday part of their customers’ lives, like YouTube and WeChat – used by a billion people all over the world – where they can research, buy and share all from the one place.

Working in partnership

As well as working with Biogency’s marketing team, and Australia Made, Laava partnered with MCC Label to deliver the engaging labels that feature scannable Laava Smart Fingerprints. 

MCC Label is a global supplier of premium label solutions and part of Laava’s partner program. We’ve worked with this innovative printing company on some of our most successful projects, including Tamburlaine Organic Wines and Swift + Moore Beverages’ Walking With Giants wine labels for Aldi.

Laava’s partner program includes supply chain systems, blockchain, printing and packaging, and marketing. Read more here.

In the news

It’s been exciting to share the news of Laava’s ongoing engagement with Biogency, as it happened. To see how the announcements played out in real time, check out Laava’s LinkedIn feed:

To learn more about how Laava can protect your brand against counterfeit and build customer connection and loyalty, contact our friendly team today.