Manufacturing medicine is a difficult job. Keeping machines and environments safe and sterile while handling millions of individual items is not an easy undertaking. The process is made more difficult when counterfeiters force manufacturers to be responsible for the fate of all their products. Fortunately, there are pharmaceutical serialization solutions in place to ease the burden on the manufacturers.
Pharmaceutical serialization solutions are used to help manufacturers and distributors track where each product has gone during its trip from manufacturer to store shelf. This may be a short jog down the road or a long and winding journey through various airports and supply warehouses. Most products are tracked by the pallet load, though some are by individual unit as they go through the pharmaceutical supply chain.
While serial numbers printed or embossed on pharmaceutical and medical packaging are the simplest way to track pharmaceutical products, they are also easy to replicate, making the shipment a target for counterfeiters. Magnetic sensors, barcodes, and even tiny microchips are becoming more common, as they are more difficult to forge.
In order for pharmaceutical serialization solutions to be effective, they must be strictly adhered to. Checkpoints and procedures must be established, and workers at each state of the supply chain must document incoming and outgoing shipments. Of course, more obvious security measures such as motion detecting lights and locked doors should be put in place for added safety.
Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a very real threat to customers’ safety, whether they are a placebo or a completely different drug entirely. Counterfeiting also has an impact on manufacturers’ profits, which may cause them to raise prices to compensate, hurting the consumers even more. By implementing serialization procedures and educating staff on how to properly record shipments, pharmaceutical companies can make an enormous difference in their customers’ lives.