Curbing Illicit Trade

and fraudulent practices

Prevalence of Counterfeit and falsified medicine is not the only challenge with regards to life sciences supply chains that needs to be addressed. Fraudulent practices such as reimbursement fraud, smuggling and diversion, though not exactly tragic in human terms, can effectively undermine the structure of the health care system in a country.


Supply Chain Diversion

diversion of supply chain is the act of redirecting a product through an unintended route and benefitting from the price disparity between the two markets. A very special case of such phenomenon had plagued the supply of medicine in Iran for years. The extent of problem first became evident to government officials subsequent to Reports regarding consignments of high value medical products being seized en route to neighboring countries. subsidization of medicine either directly or through other means such as insurance has long been one of the pillars of welfare policies practiced by the Iranian government which unwittingly had created an enticing opportunity for diversion schemes to take shape and cannibalize funds purporting to support public health. However, the nationwide deployment of the track and trace system designed and operated by SAMAN in 2008 established a systematic approach to identify leakage across various touch points in supply chain and provided grounds for eradication of such abuses.



Tackling the well-recognized issue of drug smuggling in the old fashioned way would require continuous scouring of every inch of borders and making surprise visits to dispensing points in search for products which as judged by the senses look vaguely suspicious! A cumbersome scavenger hunt which is both resource intensive and yields poor results. That being said, occasionally confiscated medical products from wholesalers and pharmacies in the aforementioned manner accounts only for the tip of the iceberg. According to our experience, drug smuggling for the most part is not carried out by outsiders to the Pharma supply chain but rather by allegedly legitimate participants of the chain with the motive of avoiding taxes and customs duty. And once those batches of illegally imported products become intermingled with their properly declared counterparts and find their way to pharmacies and warehouses, there remains no way to identify them. A perfect crime which may go unnoticed for a long time. Genuine products imported through unauthorized routes still count as a health hazard to patients due to unknown storage conditions. Moreover, such a misconduct in imports costs Governments huge sums of money in lost revenue. Having a comprehensive track and trace system in place establishes a clear line of sight throughout the supply chain and effectively suppresses illegitimate and quasi-legitimate trade of pharmaceuticals. SAMAN’s T&T system as a holistic solution provides the IT infrastructure which seamlessly integrates and synchronizes all governmental and supply chain stake holders such as customs office, IRFDA, pharmacies, etc. so that timely and decisive actions could be taken should there be any incidence of misconduct in this area.


Reimbursement fraud

fraudulent reimbursement claims is a major challenge faced by governments throughout the world. Instances of reimbursement fraud varies among countries based on reimbursement schemes in place. Among those are: acquiring multiple prescriptions for a high value prescription drug and selling said drugs in gray market. Exploiting weaknesses in information system and reap benefits from a portfolio of multiple overlapping insurance coverage programs paid for by the government, etc. Our system has been able to successfully harness the rampant issue of reimbursement fraud by cross referencing the repository of registered drugs with insurance databases and raising a red flag in case of violation.