Web-mining software that trolls for counterfeit high-tech products—tailored to the drug industry last fall—has found twice as many counterfeiters in the first eight weeks on the job for a large drugmaker than the drugmaker’s existing anticounterfeiting tool, according to enterprise risk management (ERM) software maker New Momentum LLC. The Enterprise Brand Intelligence software also enabled the drugmaker to identify potential counterfeit networks.
“You have to be real time,” says Chris Jensen, VP for marketing at New Momentum (Santa Clara, CA). The global drugmaker, which was “losing billions” on a particular drug, was using a semi-automated anticounterfeiting product that provided reports only weekly, in contrast to the 24/7 monitoring of the Enterprise Brand Intelligence SaaS offering. “The big syndicates are slick in how they come on and off the Internet,” she says, so the increased visibility into global Internet activity is required.
Jensen believes that almost all counterfeit and gray market drug activity is on the Internet now. Various international estimates put the volume of drug counterfeiting at 10% of worldwide volume, equivalent to about $60 billion/yr. In the U.S., drug counterfeiting (estimated at 1% of volume) is a lesser concern, but drug diversion from one sales channel to another is a higher one. New Momentum sees “a lot of activity coming from Asia,” she says. A drug offering that appears to be coming from Canada may actually be from Korea. “We can identify that.”
Software as a service (SaaS) allows clients to make use of a software program without the need to install it on the clients’ IT systems. For New Momentum’s offering, users configure a dashboard and specify potential counterfeit activity details that will trigger email alerts. Customers can do a test buy of the counterfeit product, and the software captures data regarding details of the offer, including images. The data can be used as evidence in legal channels or turned over to federal agencies for their use. “Federal agencies such as Customs and Border Protection are getting much more involved,” Jensen says.
New Momentum is now talking to major drugmakers and going into pilots, she adds, and expects three or four more pharmaceutical company clients in the coming months.