PHARMACEUTICAL SERIALIZATION KEY DRIVERS – PART 2
Pharmaceutical serialization drivers have been well discussed, with sales of counterfeit drugs now amounting to $75 billion annually and the overall value of the falsified drugs market estimated at around $200 billion. In this second part (read the first article here) of our Serialization Series, Zenith Technologies’ serialization director, Carlos Machado and our senior R&D product manager Matteo Barbieri discuss why we need serialization and what benefits it could bring to the industry.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 120,000 people per year die in Africa as a result of falsified anti-malarial drugs alone, either because the drugs were substandard or because they simply contained no active ingredients at all. Considering the potential impact of these counterfeit medicines, it’s easy to see why such importance has been placed on making it harder for them to enter the supply chain and why serialization has quickly become a major topic of discussion in the pharmaceutical industry.
Serialization can also bring a number of financial benefits. By identifying, capturing and sharing vital information, organizations can increase process and operational efficiencies, control costs and improve shipping accuracy. In addition, serialization also helps to reduce the potential for reimbursement fraud by linking the serial number to reimbursement systems.
With all this in mind, new track and trace regulations in the US, Europe and further afield are being introduced to tighten controls around theft, illegal diversion and unregistered products. The new legislation is designed to make it more difficult for falsified drugs to reach the patient and combat the impact the counterfeit drug market is having on the pharmaceutical industry.
With so many reasons to implement pharmaceutical serialization, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of things to take into consideration when implementing a serialization solution. Next up in the Serialization Series, Carlos Machado and Matteo Barbieri outline the vast geographic complexities associated with serialization and the importance of going beyond compliance when developing a solution.