CertiRx Corporation Detecting Counterfeits and Fraud in the Global Supply Chain

CIO VendorThomas J. Mercolino, President & CEO
The book “Dangerous Doses” exposed the dark side in the global medicine supply chain, with related events occurring at about the same time when Thomas J. Mercolino was heading a technology in-licensing group in pharmaceutical R&D at Johnson & Johnson. “As an R&D professional and a trained biologist, I bring a different perspective compared to other supply chain experts. It occurred to me that the counterfeiters were taking advantage of the lack of linkage between information systems, so we launched CertiRx originally as an internal startup at J&Jto link information systems better,” says Mercolino, President & CEO, CertiRx Corporation. CertiRx’s set of solutions makes counterfeits and frauds easier to localize and detect, thereby deterring the crimes.“Ready, localized detection is a deterrent to fraud, by analogy to a red light camera deterring traffic violations.” Mercolino says, and adds, “Our solutions share a common technology platform, designed for the highest possible security at the lowest cost.”

According to Mercolino, there is a transformation from a “supply chain” to a “supply network” and the corresponding new challenges for supply chain management will stem from having been thought of as a cost center to becoming a strategic competitive advantage. “Demonstrating supply chain safety and security without sacrificing speed is important to create competitive advantage,” says Mercolino. With a diffuse, networked supply chain, interoperable security is increasing in importance. Interoperable security is achieved, for example, if the authorizing documents, the labels for the product and the product itself all can be related through their security features. “The essential new capability that our solutions bring is product authentication that is interoperable with product tracking and tracing. We do this with a single technology platform to reduce cost, complexity and maximize benefits,” clarifies Mercolino.

Mercolino and his expert advisors believe that multiple layers of embedded security yield the best results. “Our underlying thinking in designing AuthentiForm and TraxSecur was based on layered security,” explains Mercolino.

Both solutions share the same technology platform, are designed for utmost security and cost-effectiveness, and embed proprietary data carriers that can provide useful data without raising privacy or commercial secrecy concerns.
AuthentiForm provides a security feature that can be added to documents, whether the document is in a physical form or a digital image version. It persists with the document even on conversion from one form to another. With TraxSecur— CertiRx’s leading product solution—comes the first authentication feature designed specifically to complement to track and trace serialization, the latter a mandatory requirement for pharmaceutical packaging in many countries.

The essential new capability that our solutions bring is product authentication that is interoperable with product tracking and tracing

TraxSecur is a security feature that is printed at the same time and with the same printer that is printing track and trace or other serialization information. The Trax- Secur is verifiable at every level of the supply network, all the way to end users. CertiRx has found that information that must be secured interoperably is often comprised of both digital as well as paper based forms. “Our solutions works equally well with any medium through which the information to be secured is travelling. They accomplish sophisticated localized fraud detection without storing sensitive information in the authentication database,” states Mercolino.

At CertiRx, the focus is on low cost, high security, and high interoperability of data streams. Mercolino says that the new products in the CertiRx pipeline are PrintSecur and Itemiz—extensions for the AuthentiForm and TraxSecur lines respectively. Item is a proprietary data carrier that can be authenticated by cell phone cameras or any other networked imaging device. A secured document is generated just by printing through Print- Secur, which engages the entire back end of the AuthentiForm system. Printing of forms, invoices or emails is secure through this utility. “Email security is always an issue in eDiscovery, with the true rendering of the email being very difficult to prove. However with PrintSecur, we make that an easier and less costly process,” concludes Mercolino.

CertiRx Corporation

Research Triangle Park, NC

Thomas J. Mercolino, President & CEO

Provides a set of solutions for authentication and verification of high-value products.