The pharmaceutical track and trace system is a logistical technology that enables the tracking and localization of a drug throughout the supply chain.
In 2012, Turkey became the first country in the world to implement the end-to-end pharmaceutical track and trace system in order to secure the domestic pharmaceutical supply chain. After this successful implementation, countries such as Argentina and Saudi Arabia started to implement the drug track and trace system. China, United States and European Union member countries are also making efforts to implement the end-to-end pharmaceutical track and trace system.
With the rapid development of technology and the constant change of needs, pharmaceutical track and trace systems have become much more important in the pharmaceutical industry. There are many benefits of using drug track and trace systems that protect human health and prevent counterfeit drugs from entering the supply chain. One of the most important benefits of the pharmaceutical track and trace system is that it increases efficiency in production sales channels and reduces theft and fraud rates.
One of the most important features of drug track and trace systems is that they support drug manufacturers to compete among themselves. Thanks to the information obtained from the system, studies can be carried out to increase the efficiency in drug production and sales. In the United States and Europe, companies have expanded the scope of serialization and started to develop pharmaceutical track and trace products using data matrix, RFID and QR Code. Thanks to these advanced drug track and trace systems, the drug flow between production and sales channels can be monitored from beginning to end. All pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to track and trace all stages of their production process to ensure that they are producing in compliance with regulations.
It is not possible for drug manufacturers to fight counterfeit and substandard drugs on their own. Since there is a very large supply chain, counterfeit and substandard drugs can be determined with the investments and cooperation of government and companies providing pharmaceutical track and trace solutions. Thanks to the drug track and trace system, counterfeit drugs can be prevented from entering the supply chain at the first stage.
We have listed in detail the many benefits of the drug track and trace system. However, there are challenges encountered during the implementation phase of this important system. The biggest of these challanges is the lack of a common standard.
The inability to establish a national standard is the biggest challange in the application and serialization of pharmaceutical track and trace solutions. For example, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the pharmaceutical industry to set a general standard so that all drugs can be tracked and traced. The purpose of determining a common standard is to unite all industry leaders under the standard to facilitate compliance processes.
Although pharmaceutical track and trace systems are very secure, some companies claim that the barcode system is not secure and that barcodes can be changed easily. On the other hand, due to the fact that important personal information is included in the system, unauthorized people using the drug track and trace system can also access the information of these people.
Although the drug track and trace system provides time and cost savings in drug production with serialization, some companies claim that this system slows down the production process and increases costs. In order to avoid these and similar problems, a detailed study should be carried out on the pharmaceutical track and trace system, and each country should set its own standards according to production processes.
In order for a pharmaceutical track and trace system to work efficiently and properly, the system must be established with government support and a strong hierarchical order. In case of any vulnerability in drug track and trace systems, which operate regularly and flawlessly, the system only blocks the problematic area in order to prevent illegal transactions and solve problems.
In addition, you can get detailed information about health information exchange by reading our article titled What Is HIE and What Are Its Advantages? See you on different topics.