Identifying Counterfeit Medicines with Industry-Suitable Technologies
Authors: Dr. Fred Jordan & Dr. Martin Kutter
Company: AlpVision SA
Date: June 2012
Document type: Whitepaper (.PDF file)
Abstract: This white paper investigates the latest security technologies available to branded pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to verify the authenticity of medicines. The authors argue that while serialization in pharmaceutical and medical device packaging may be appropriate to identify or recall medicines with manufacturing or distribution problems, it cannot prevent the introduction of falsified medicine into the legal supply chain.
By contrast, the authors contend that, in order to increase reliability in the supply chain, digital authentication technologies that incorporate covert (invisible) security features provide a higher level of security than those with overt (visible) features; are easier and more cost-effective to deploy than those based on consumables; do not require any specific training, only a step-by-step process; and are more reliable than human sensory perception-based verifications.
The article finally forecasts that while the newly adopted European directive 2011/62/EU calls on pharmaceutical companies and any actors involved in the manufacturing or distribution of medicinal products to verify the authenticity of medicines, innovations in smartphone technology, including better image capabilities and increased computing power, will accelerate the need to develop a suitable, easy-to-use, and reliable product authentication process at the patient level.
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