On average 10% of the world's drug supply is fake or counterfeit, and Americans purchased 44% of all pharmaceuticals sold last year
There is no question America's consumption of pharmaceuticals is increasing.
In 2006, prescription sales in the US pharmaceutical market had risen by 8.3% and a report of further growth is expected this year.
With the industry expanding, so must methods to thwart the counterfeit drug market.
While considered secure, if only 1% of the US supply was counterfeit it would equal 34.2 million new fraudulent prescriptions circulating within the nation.
The number would be approximately one counterfeit medicine for every nine American citizens.
The World Health Organization's anti-counterfeiting taskforce has stated: "Technologies are particularly important for product authentication".
To fill a need for a high-tech solution, scientists and engineers at a Florida-based company have developed a unit which can help maintain the integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain.
The XT250 system by XStream Systems is said to be the first of its kind and can verify the contents of a manufacturer's bottle without breaking the seal.
When placed at distribution checkpoints or warehouse facilities, the unit is able to determine fake medications from legitimate inventory, thus protecting the consumer.
A study by the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, cited by the WHO, estimates the number of counterfeits will climb to be a $75 billion industry by the year 2010, representing a 92% increase from 2005.
John Lundquist, XStream Systems's VP of business development, states: "As the threat of consumers being harmed by counterfeit drugs grows, we need to also increase the number of safeguards put into place.
"The XT250 system is the very beginning of a new generation of necessary anti-counterfeiting solutions."