The EU legislation on medicine markings is about to change. The Falsified Medicines Directive 2011/62/EU requires that serial numbers will be printed on all pharmaceutical packaging as of February 2019. By February 2019 medicine packs will have a 2D-matrix which contains the following information: product code, unique serial number, batch number and expiry date. Up to now, pharmaceutical packages have been differentiated on the packaging-level.
After the EU legislation comes into force, each package of prescription pharmaceuticals will be identified with a GTIN product code and an individual serial number. The authenticity of each package can be verified from a European database where medicine manufacturers enter packaging details. The database is open for the entire distribution chain: wholesalers, pharmacies and hospitals. Falsified Medicines Directive applies only to prescription medicines: over-the-counter medicines are not subject to the directive.
In addition to the 2D code and information it contains, the directive requires that medicine packs must have a tamper evidence mechanism. The mechanism, for instance a seal, reveals if the package has been unlawfully opened before dispensing.
Optiscan’s solution for scanning medicine packages makes inspecting packages easy. The Optiscan solution for verifying medicine packs contains a table, scanner and a movable pc rack. The height of the table can be adjusted upwards and downwards and it has wheels making it convenient if the table is used in cramped space. Motorised table improves ergonomics as it allows the operator to work either sitting or standing.
The surface of the table resists chemicals so it can be cleaned using even cleaning chemicals. On the both side of the table there are counters that can be adjusted upwards and downwards. On the counters medicine boxes can be placed. The counters can be removed if they are not used. The table is delivered fully assembled to customers.
Scanning medicine packs is fast and easy using the Optiscan solution. There is no need to search for the barcodes on the packs, as the scanner reads the codes fluently on the bottom and on the sides. It is also possible to deploy a separate reader Zebra DS457 or ring scanner RS507 with stand which makes scanning even quicker. If scannable medicine packs are big, it is possible to use a cordless handheld reader DS8178 HC.
The most important benefit of the new Medications Verification System is the increase in drug safety. The system aims to prevent falsified medicines from entering the legal supply chain. Infiltrating medicine counterfeits in the market has been challenging before, but due to the Falsified Medicines Directive it will become virtually impossible. By purchasing medicines from a legal pharmacy or online pharmacy, the patient can be confident about the authenticity of the medicine.