Abstract: The business of counterfeits is often termed as a ‘crime of the 21st century’; causing an economic and security threat not only for the manufacturers but also to the nation’s welfare due to loss of tax revenue. Counterfeit drugs are dangerous and harmful, with its implications being more severe more than that of monetary value. As per the WHO’s definition, the drugs that are classified as sub-standard, unregulated/unlicensed or falsified drugs and IP related infringed drugs are termed as ‘counterfeits’. Most counterfeit drugs are ‘trademark counterfeit goods’, where some of them are useless and others are harmful. A recent Interpol coordinated operation named ‘PANGEA VIII’ has targeted illegal online medicine, rogue domain name registrars, electronic payment systems and logistical services. Most developing countries are currently facing the consequences of these type of counterfeits.

This decade has seen the emergence of a new disruptive technology known as ‘Blockchain Technology’ which is majorly used in financial transactions. Blockchain acts as a trusted agent by removing intermediaries, facilitating faster transactions and improving transparency.

This thesis analyzes the possibility of elimination of counterfeits by using the Blockchain technology. The aim of the thesis is to define the counterfeits, discuss the existing technologies to counter the counterfeits, and characteristics of the blockchain technology applied for the supply chain so that counterfeits are countered. But blockchain technology alone is not a panacea and cannot eliminate the counterfeits. With a combination of this technology, a robust legal system, a tamper-proof packing system and consumer awareness, it will lead to efficient and holistic approach to reduce the counterfeits..

Author: Kalyan Revella is a Deputy Commissioner of the Indian Revenue Service, Government of India. The author can be contacted at rkalyan.irs@nic.in.

The full text of the article can be found as a PDF here.

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