Officials in Abu Dhabi say they will set up a track and trace system based on bar code technology to foil counterfeiters. They system, expected to be in place early next year, will track at the package level.
The thinking in Abu Dhabi corresponds with that among some technology-watchers who see bar codes assuming the heavy lifting in drug pedigree systems. Among them is consultant Dirk Rodgers, who cites a supply chain attitude shift toward barcoding, and away from the widely touted radio frequency identification (RFID), for economic reasons.
Imported drug packages will be labeled upon arrival in Abu Dhabi by distributors before forwarding to pharmacies, according to a local press report. Distributors will work with health authorities on coding details. Each package will have a randomly selected number and barcode containing information about the manufacturer, batch number and expiration date, as well as dose and strength.
At the pharmacies, a barcode scan will verify that a drug product is genuine; the scan also provides its usual sales check-out function. After the sale, customers can check authenticity via a dial-in number and box code.
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