Domino joins forces with Aegate on medicines verification

Aegate validationDomino Printing Sciences has teamed up with Aegate to help pharma companies meet the authentication coding requirements of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).

The two companies said they will "work together to resolve some of the authentication coding challenges created by the … FMD and the Delegated Acts", which will implement the Directive's safety features provisions.

Aegate has been a pioneer of end-to-end medicines authentication in Europe, having rolled out national pharmacy verification and patient safety systems in Belgium, Italy and Greece and invested upwards of €65m ($84m) developing its platform over the last 10 years.

Domino which provides coding and marking equipment to the life science industry, said the two companies will provide "top-level consultancy" to pharma manufacturers, who are facing "a €5bn problem … with more than 12,000 packaging lines needing to change, at an average cost of €500,000, before 2018."

Aegate's system is in place in around a quarter of all the 160,000 pharmacies operating in Europe and to date have been used to check around 2.7bn dispensed packs. Since it was first rolled out in 2007, the platform has flagged up around 2m recalled, expired or suspect medicines before they were dispensed to patients.

The company's system is currently scanning unique, machine-readable codes on medicine packs at a rate of around 200,000 an hour, checking the codes against manufacturer databases in real time and delivering responses in 250 milliseconds. It has also integrated its verification platform with more than 40 pharmacy software suppliers so that no additional technology is required.

"Our partnership with Aegate adds a whole new level of expertise to our existing team," said Craig Stobie, global life sciences sector manager at Domino.

"Pack serialisation and ultimately legislative compliance will not be found in an 'off-the-shelf' solution and will have to come from a number of suppliers."

Aegate has recently expanded its operations in Belgium with new contracts involving Lloyds Pharmacy and independent pharmacy group Sofiadis and opened an office in France.

Graham Smith, commercial director for Aegate, said: "With only a short time to go before the implementation of the EU FMD and the Delegated Acts, companies need to act now to ensure they will make the necessary changes in time."

"The combination of Domino’s printing expertise and Aegate's medicine verification experience will ensure that pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers and pharmacists can benefit from the deep knowledge gained by the two industry leaders in their field."

Beyond verification

Aegate is also using the platform for other functions, such as providing pertinent information to pharmacists.

A recent project run by Aegate in Belgium found that more than 55 per cent of all Aegate-enabled pharmacists used the built-in messaging service to get additional information about a new asthma drug. This included the ability to connect to the manufacturers' website, download patient information leaflets as well as view a video and get detailed use instructions.

In total, pharmacists actively sought further detail in over 16 per cent of all messages delivered during the three-month programme.

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