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Strengthening Pharmaceutical Security: How Bayer Utilised AccessReal to Combat Grey Market Activity and Counterfeiting

August 21, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare and pharmaceuticals, Bayer HealthCare Limited has been a stalwart for over 150 years. With a presence spanning 87 countries and a workforce exceeding 100,000 employees globally, Bayer is committed to pioneering advancements in healthcare and nutrition. Despite its illustrious history, the Hong Kong-based company faced an escalating grey market issue: they were unable to track their products sold through unauthorised channels, resulting in a substantial loss of official sales.

Revolutionising Distribution and Redemption
Previously, as an effort to curb grey market issues, Bayer required manual cut-outs of packaging from the official distribution channel. This step was taken to validate their authenticity and deter unauthorised sales of their products. However, this process was both time-consuming and labour-intensive.

In response to this challenge, Bayer Hong Kong made the strategic decision to adopt AccessReal – an innovative solution addressing anti-counterfeiting, track and trace, and consumer engagement. AccessReal introduced a comprehensive strategy to combat the grey market concern, simultaneously preventing counterfeiting and enhancing customer interaction. Through the implementation of AccessReal's patented clone-proof identification label, known as ARcode, each product in Bayer's portfolio acquired a distinct identity, complete with serialisation and encryption protection.

The integration of AccessReal brought about a transformative shift in Bayer's distribution and redemption procedures. The introduction of a unique ARcode label enabled distributors and retailers to swiftly verify their affiliation with Bayer by means of a simple scan. This marked a significant advancement from the previous manual process. Furthermore, AccessReal's combination of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence empowered Bayer to monitor product distribution meticulously. Suspicious distributions triggered immediate alerts, ensuring timely intervention.
By embracing this digitalized approach, Bayer eradicated the need for labour-intensive manual cut-out collections. This automation not only saved valuable time but also amplified operational efficiency. As a result, stronger trust-based relationships flourished between Bayer and its distributors. Additionally, the new system facilitated seamless tracking of products, discouraging diversion to unofficial channels. In this manner, Bayer succeeded in curbing grey market activity and achieving a reduction in such occurrences.

Furthermore, unlike the majority of tracking blockchain services available in the market, AccessReal goes a step further by enabling end-consumers to personally authenticate Bayer products. This unique feature holds exceptional significance, particularly within the current landscape riddled with counterfeit goods.

A Persistent Challenge in a Vital Industry
The pervasive issue of counterfeiting and product duplication poses not only a threat to patient well-being but also erodes consumer trust. The lack of a dependable method to confirm the authenticity of their purchases has left patients and customers questioning the source and quality of the products they acquired. These concerns inevitably led to the gradual erosion of the brand's credibility and reputation, ultimately resulting in a decline in sales. Consequently, this problem presents a formidable obstacle for brands to overcome.

As a result, brand owners recognise the need for enhanced brand protection measures. This escalating predicament is consistently observed across various end-user industries. As seen in the global anti-counterfeit packaging market which is projected to achieve an estimated valuation of USD 211.3 billion by the year 2026. This projection demonstrates a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2021 to 2026, as reported by MarketsandMarkets in 2021.

Empowering Authenticity with AccessReal
This groundbreaking patented label introduces a seamless scanning method for customers to authenticate products using their smartphones. The process not only assured customers of the product's authenticity but also enabled real-time tracking of customer interactions, offering invaluable insights into preferences and usage patterns.

The clone-proof identification label by AccessReal has significantly fortified Bayer's defences against counterfeiting. With serialisation and encryption for heightened protection, this label possesses the ability to trace any fraudulent ARcode back to its origin, simplifying comprehensive investigations. This renders counterfeiters incapable of successfully replicating our ARcodes for consumer authentication.

Moreover, AccessReal's robust data analytics capabilities offered Bayer a goldmine of marketing statistics, sales data, and customer demographics. Armed with this information, the company could make informed decisions to enhance product positioning and elevate customer satisfaction.

Bayer's adoption of AccessReal has yielded tangible results, solidifying its position as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry. By combating counterfeiting, enhancing distribution, and offering consumers a reliable means to authenticate products, AccessReal has become a pivotal tool in Bayer's security arsenal. 

A Stronger Future with AccessReal and GS1 
As part of our ongoing efforts to guarantee product authenticity, and traceability and promote customer trust, i-Sprint and GS1 are planning a strategic relationship. 

Thanks to GS1's identifying numbers and barcodes, organisations of all sizes can easily manage the whole supply chain process globally, including tracking, tracing, and delivery. 

Using GS1’s standard for identifying products, services, and locations, incorporating barcoding, and facilitating electronic business communications lays the groundwork for improved supply chain management and streamlined business processes, ultimately driving down costs and increasing the value of both goods and services (GS1 Singapore, 2023).

This joint effort, which combines GS1 Standards and AccessReal's clone-proof patented technology, provides our partners with an unmatched level of security against grey market activities and counterfeiting while also improving supply chain management capabilities.

Together, these synergies give businesses access to the vital data required for inventory control, consumer engagement, traceability programs, and more. They also signal the potential for even higher levels of innovation, trust, and authenticity in the near future.

MarketsandMarkets (2021). Anti-Counterfeit Packaging Market Size & Share, Report 2026. [online] MarketsandMarkets. Available at:
GS1 Singapore (2023). About GS1 Singapore Limited. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Aug. 2023].