Counterfeiting & Seizures

A healthy start to the year? Beware of counterfeit vitamin tablets

A year usually begins with New Year's resolutions. One of the most common is healthier living. Special supplements can help with this – but beware of counterfeits!

Lack of regulation gives counterfeiters free rein

Many people start the year with New Year's resolutions. One of the most common is healthier living. Special supplements can help by supplying the body with vitamins, minerals and trace elements. The current boom in the health and fitness industry is also promoting growth in the dietary supplements market. Buyers are advised to be cautious, however, since there are large numbers of counterfeit products on the market.

The central problem is the lack of regulations and supervisory bodies. Dietary supplements are not considered pharmaceutical products and as such can be sold freely, meaning they are not available solely in pharmacies. The growth in global online trade is also playing into the hands of counterfeiters. The multitude of products and international sales channels and the complex transport routes allow them to make a profit selling their inferior counterfeits undetected. Read more here


Counterfeiters profit from New Year's resolutions

Counterfeit supplements often contain no active substances – or even toxic ingredients.
Brand owners and consumers alike lose out. Brand manufacturers suffer lost sales revenue and damage to their image. For consumers, the associated health risks are considerable. Counterfeit supplements are generally manufactured in extremely unhygienic conditions and contain at best no active substances. In the worst-case scenario, counterfeit dietary supplements are mixed with ingredients which are toxic and harmful.

It is often difficult to detect counterfeits, since counterfeiters imitate the entire brand product: from the colour of the tablet to the brand logo and packaging. Consumers should therefore only purchase dietary supplements from authorised shops and online stores. Dubious online platforms that entice consumers with conspicuously low prices should be avoided at all costs.

Original manufacturers can take steps to actively protect their consumers and their brands: physical security labels that are affixed to the original products provide reliable proof of authenticity. Every single product is furnished with a unique, counterfeit-proof code like a passport. This security marking can be checked by a range of different target groups: consumers, retailers, customs officials and a brand owner’s own experts. Providing the security labels with a link to an intuitive online platform allows brand owners to reach out to their customers and retailers.


Interesting links on this subject

Blog post: Complex delivery routes hamper fight against counterfeits

Diabetes daily article: How to Avoid Buying Fake Vitamins and Supplements!

Security labels as proof of authenticity

Online platform: counterfeit protection and customer dialogue


Elena Bose, Online & PR Manager

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