Argentina extends traceability programme for medicines

Argentinian flagThe government of Argentina has added another 11 substances to the catalogue of drugs covered by its national drug traceability scheme, which was first introduced in 2011.

The latest additions to the list of more than 2,000 medicines include a range of drugs that are prone to illicit use, including a number of benzodiazepines and other psychotropic compounds.

The system requires the placing of unique serial numbers and tamper-evident features on the secondary packaging of critical medicines so as to defend the supply chain from falsified, stolen, unlicensed and otherwise illegal products.

All drug movements are recorded real-time in a central database managed by ANMAT which uses
Global Location Numbers (GLNs) to identify the various actors in the supply chain.

It initially started with around 350 critical medicines for serious diseases such as cancer and HIV, and was expanded last year to include a broad range of additional therapeutic categories.

The additions - which were included in a notice dated January 15 and available on the ANMAT website - include drugs with the following active ingredients:

-    alprazolam
-    butamirate
-    bromazepam
-    clonazepam
-    diazepam
-    dihydrocodeine
-    flunitrazepam
-    lorazepam
-    promethazine
-    tramadol
-    trihexyphenidyl

The addition of these controlled medicines into the national traceability programme will make it easier for Argentina's narcotics agency SEDRONAR to tackle illicit use of the drugs "usually in combination with alcohol or other substances, that not only have serious effects on consumers' health but also violent behaviour".

The ANMAT notice says that having already completed the first stage of implementation of the system with "more than favorable results, it is essential continue the gradual process of implementation … reaching more medical specialties".

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