Speciality security printer Eltronis has reported a 20% increase in enquiries for its brand protection and track and trace solutions since the outbreak of coronavirus.

The company says that the majority of these new enquiries have come from the pharmaceutical sector, reflecting the rise in public demand for immunity and health protection against the virus.  

This significant growth in enquiries follows a recent warning from the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), of which Eltronis is a member, regarding criminals profiting from the COVID-19 crisis. In a report, the organisation highlighted what it sees as an urgent need for more investment in anti-counterfeiting technologies.

The message from the IHMA coincided with alerts about counterfeit goods from Europol and EUIPO, particularly regarding the international trade in fake pharmaceuticals, which is reportedly worth around $4bn.

Pete Smallwood, business development manager for Eltronis, says: “Since the outbreak of coronavirus, we have seen a significant increase in the number of anti-counterfeit enquiries we have received, largely from our pharmaceutical customers.

“These enquires have not only come from our traditional markets but also from further afield, with projects throughout Europe, the Middle East and a number of specific requests in Indonesia and the Far East.”

“Counterfeit goods generally do not meet the required quality standards and pose a real threat to public health, particularly during this pandemic,” Smallwood continues. “People who buy these fake products are given a false sense of security, when in fact they are left unprotected against the virus, as well as being at potential risk from the contents of the fake medicines.  

“Having an effective brand protection strategy is now an essential part of today’s medicines and pharmaceutical goods, ensuring they meet all legislative requirements, as well as enabling examiners and consumers to clearly verify the authenticity of the products in the market and protect themselves from fakes.”