SecureTrace, a ISRI-initiated project that aims to identify counterfeit products by tracing each step of an item's journey through the supply chain, has revealed that pilot drives of an electronic drug tracking and authentication program have been completed successfully, reported PMPNews.
SecureTrace is a syndicate of 10 companies in the UK that are using technology to fight counterfeiting and diversion of pharmaceuticals throughout the supply chain.
The project, according to SecureTrace, was started on a high-speed packaging line at Reckitt Benckiser, Hull. The process will start when pharmaceuticals are imprinted with unique and secure 2-D bar codes, which comprise authenticating markers in the ink. A natural fingerprint will be generated using Laser Surface Authentication. Pack data will be assembled into cartons and pallets, then bar codes, and RFID labels are applied to cartons.
The information will be then saved in a master database. After the pharmaceuticals depart from the packaging facility, field readers provide authentication and verification of the product as it traverses throughout the supply chain to the terminus, where it is dispensed.
Jim Rittenburg, vice president of healthcare at Authentix and lead partner for SecureTrace, said: “European countries have taken a fragmented approach to tracking drugs, while the United States has struggled to establish a workable pedigree system. SecureTrace establishes a clear and workable strategy that has been developed and executed by all players involved in the process.”
The syndicate, with other projects, such as the EFPIA pilot in Swedish pharmacies, in progress, is looking forward to support EFPIA’s stance, by ensuring that the pilot is in conformity to their objectives, while simultaneously exploring two more key areas.
Ian Eastwood, CTO at Consortium Leaders, Authentix, said: “The combined use of four sophisticated technologies, laser surface authentication, and forensic signature inks that enable authentication and use of 2-D bar codes and RFID, make SecureTrace more comprehensive than any other programs being used to protect pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical counterfeiting is a growing threat and protecting patients means that the product, not just the bar code, needs to be absolutely verifiable,” reported the news agency.