Supply Chain

Counterfeit medicines pose a real and growing threat to patient safety and worldwide public health. Pharmaceutical counterfeiting crosses geographic boundaries and impacts patients suffering from a variety of diseases.  In every part of the world, patients are unknowingly encountering counterfeits that look like the actual medicine — from the package to the size and color of the pill. These are dangerous imposters that may contain inactive and useless ingredients or even toxic substances. In each case, they are unreliable. In some cases, they can cause harm to patients through under treatment, harmful treatment or even death. Because of the unregulated environment, full anonymity, and access to patients,[1] the Internet is a hot spot for counterfeiters.

Lilly currently deploys a wide variety of sophisticated anti-counterfeiting strategies for our products and is actively engaged in efforts to combat counterfeiting in order to protect the health and safety of our patients. These initiatives include:

  • Working with global stakeholders in the supply chain to secure the integrity of Lilly products through legitimate distribution channels. 
  • Adding enhanced anti-counterfeiting technology for Lilly products and packaging in its retail product portfolios.
  • Seeking to deter major counterfeiters of Lilly products through targeted investigations, Internet monitoring, litigation and prosecution.
  • Working with government and non-government organizations and trade associations to strengthen, enact and enforce anti-counterfeiting laws and raise awareness.

This global problem requires a sustained, long-term commitment. To stop this dangerous trend, collaboration and cooperation are critical, and Lilly is committed to working with a wide range of public and private partners.

[1] Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy: Executive Summary. 2007. URL: Page 14, Box 1. Last accessed Oct. 13. 2009.

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