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Verifying genuine pharmaceutical products will be difficult to implement

In most big IT projects software providers have over promised and under delivered and at a far higher final cost. I do not believe it will be any different when it comes to verifying genuine pharmaceutical products (2014;293:587). One billion items are dispensed every year. Assuming it takes one second to check each item physically, this equates to about 280,000 hours of labour.

Who is going to pay for this? Have the software suppliers done a time and motion study of the software in a working dispensary?

Checking against a central database depends on (among other software and hardware issues) the speed of the internet connection, which is always slower than promised by the suppliers.

I would be most surprised if ten products could be checked in ten seconds over the internet from a central database.

Finally what is going to stop the fake suppliers from using the same codes as on the genuine product?

I have deep reservations about this proposed solution for a genuine problem.

Umakant Patel

Northwood, Middlesex

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20066054

Readers' comments (1)

  • I agree totally.
    The one second check is totally 'optimistic' and unreal.
    Have any IT projects delivered what they promise? Never.

    We also make the assumption that this project is required. This project assumes that wholesalers will supply falsified medicines. So, firstly let us ensure that the wholesalers will provide genuine products to pharmacies. Get the wholesalers to do these checks.

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