Pharmaceutical production: no opportunity for pirates

Fake is on the advance. Even the pharmaceutical industry has to fight against copies and counterfeits. One effective measure is seamless product identification across the entire production and distribution process. With the modular BL ident® RFID system from Turck, the authenticity of the original and its provenance can be traced at all times.

Counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals and the smuggling of counterfeits into legal distribution channels can have life-threatening consequences for patients and undermine the trust of the markets in reputable pharmaceutical manufacturers. The problem intensified a number of years ago, inciting the authorities to take action: With Directive 2011/62/EU, the European Union began the introduction of compulsory serialisation. This entered into force on 9th February 2019 and, since this date, manufacturers of prescription medicines within the EU must serialise their products

Connection to the Europe-wide data storage network

In Switzerland, the organisation Swiss Medicines Verification Organisation, SMVO, which was founded in April 2018, took the initiative: In a first step, it adopted EU-compliant safety features for packaging. It now intends to establish a national data register and connect this to the Europe-wide data storage network. The safety features on the packaging include a unique serial number, specific production data for product identification, the expiry date and the batch number.

Consistent identification across all packaging units

Identification is written in plain text as well as, depending on the packaging unit, applied as a barcode or data matrix code, or in an RFID data carrier. In accordance with the EU directive, identification must be guaranteed across the entire production and distribution chain and must be verifiable for all trade and logistics partners. This means that the identification must be displayed on all packaging units: from the primary packaging, e.g. blister pack, to the secondary packaging, as provided in the retail trade, and on to collective packaging and the pallet.