German trial a step toward upcoming track/trace mandate

In Germany, pharma companies are working with wholesalers and pharmacists on a track/trace project for supply chain security. The securPharm pilot involves an end-to-end system. Manufacturers will place serialized 2D data-matrix codes on drugs. The codes then will be scanned and authenticated by pharmacists at point of dispensing.

The system will use two databases--one accessible to manufacturers, the other to pharmacists. The data duplication honors pharmacists' insistence on maintaining control over prescribing data. Wholesalers will be able to access data only during a security breaches and when counterfeiting is suspected.

The German system pilot is slated to begin in early 2013 and run about three months prior to rollout, reports Securing Pharma. It complements a Swedish pilot run by the European Federation of Pharmaceuticals Industries & Associations (EFPIA). The Swedish pilot uses just one centralized database to handle and record transactions.

German officials expect the securPharm system rollout to take about three years. They anticipate that it may serve as a model for other European countries and perhaps help meet the upcoming Directive on Falsified Medicines. 

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