In today’s global marketplace, illicit trade of health care products is a serious and growing concern that can undermine confidence in product safety and effectiveness, put people’s health and lives at risk, and impact financial performance. Fraudsters and criminals profit by targeting high-value, leading brands while disregarding the health and safety of patients and consumers. The risk involves both counterfeit (fake) products and genuine products that are diverted from the legitimate, authorized supply chain and those that are tampered with, extending shelf-life or otherwise misleading the consumer about product quality.
The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies take a strategic and holistic approach to identifying, managing and mitigating the risks associated with illicit trade. Johnson & Johnson’s dedicated Global Brand Protection (GBP) team works in conjunction with its internal partners in Supply Chain, Global Security, Quality & Compliance, the Law Department, Worldwide Government Affairs and local operating companies both to respond to known issues and to proactively implement preventive measures throughout the end-to-end supply chain.
These measures include product security features, market monitoring, employee education and training, and various other best practices designed to enhance supply chain safety and security. GBP also partners closely with leading universities, police and government agencies, trade organizations, vendors, online marketplaces and other multinational companies to increase the overall effectiveness of Johnson & Johnson brand protection programs and to advance the state of the art in brand protection.
Our approach is outlined in our Statement on Counterfeit Health Care Products.
A long-term project to integrate brand protection requirements into routine regulatory and compliance audits of external manufacturing sites launched in 2016, resulting in 177 sites being audited. The audit program is global and cross-segment in scope, and enables issue identification and resolution of potential supply chain vulnerabilities from a brand protection standpoint.
GBP partnered with Quality & Compliance, Global Security and the Trademark organization within the Law Department to develop a new Quality Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for managing incidents related to counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trade. This SOP is designed to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of our response to suspected illicit product incidents.
The risk of counterfeiting and illicit trade on the Internet continues to increase, and in 2016, GBP expanded its online market monitoring programs with a continued focus on high-risk products and markets.
Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain was honored for innovative tracking, tracing and serialization systems that protect against infiltration by counterfeit drugs at every stage of the manufacturing and distribution process. The 2016 Supply Innovation Award was presented by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in partnership with SupplyChainBrain, the world’s most comprehensive supply chain information resource site.
As part of Supply Chain’s Value Beyond Compliance initiative, GBP partnered with the Supply Chain Visibility team and leveraged serialization technology and GBP’s Brand Inspector mobile application to pilot a monitoring program designed to identify suspected illicit products in the pharmaceutical product returns stream at a site in the United States. The pilot was successful and will support a business case for potential expansion of the program in 2017.