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Falsified medicines

Software will take milliseconds to identify fake medicines

Systems for verifying that medicines are authentic at the point of dispensing will take just a few hundred milliseconds to complete the task, software providers have claimed.

Checking the authenticity of medicines under the European Union’s falsified medicines directive will take less than a second at the point of dispensing, software providers working on the technology have claimed.

The directive, which comes into force in 2017, will require member states to bring in a national system to check that a medicine is not fake. When the rules come into effect, a unique serial number on each medicine packet will be verified against a European hub of information.

Aegate, Solidsoft and Arvarto-SecurPharm presented their technology platforms for verification at a stakeholder event organised by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on 14 July 2014.

Each member state government will choose a software provider, which will have to integrate the scheme into pharmacy patient medication record systems.

The developers promised stakeholders at the event that their systems would take only a few hundred milliseconds to check the authenticity of a medicine when scanned. 

If a medicine is fake, the system providers will alert the national authority – in the case of the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Aegate, the largest medicines verification company in Europe, also showed that its system can instantly alert pharmacists about any product recalls, expiry dates or reminders that a patient needs to collect a medicine.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20065926

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