Improving Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Cargo and Yellow Pills Spilling Out of a Prescription Bottle

The need to improve transparency for pharmaceutical supply chains has been the subject of ongoing attention, since Track-and-Trace Laws were passed in December of 2013. Track and Trace laws were designed to keep fake and substandard drugs out of the supply chain and out of the hands of unsuspecting consumers. However, to make track-and-trace laws more effective, transparency in the supply chain must be improved, says The Wall Street Journal.

Supply chain transparency is about ensuring that consumers and others are aware of the source of their medications, and that drug manufacturers protect the quality of the final products they sell. The issue of transparency is being addressed in countries including Argentina, the U.S., Brazil, China and Turkey, where regulations are being passed to require greater connectivity between participants in the supply chain when it comes to sharing information.

Even if supply chain transparency is improved, however, pharmaceutical counterfeiters have grown sophisticated at mimicking packaging, seals and other elements of the supply chains, says the Wall Street Journal. They even can mimic IT verification web portals used by manufacturers. To deter these problems, in addition to greater transparency, innovative solutions are also crucial to verify product integrity, quality, and full end-to-end supply chain traceability.

Substandard and falsified medicines harm consumers. Given the extent of the problem, we at CSIP are encouraged that new regulations are requiring improved transparency and new innovations are improving product authentication. We will continue to work with our members and partners to keep fake and substandard drugs out of the supply chain, and out of the hands of consumers.


The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and our 13 member companies have the shared goal of helping address the growing problem of consumer access to illegitimate pharmaceutical products on the Internet. Continue to read this blog for updates on CSIP’s education, enforcement and information-sharing efforts.