While a lot of the attention on pharma traceabilty today is getting readable barcodes onto packages, eventually there will be an equally important task to confirm receipt of those barcoded packages at pharmacies and other destinations. This is especially true of Europe’s Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), which is a “bookend” approach to product authentication: barcodes are verified at the beginning and end of a supply chain, but not intermediate points. (The US’ Drug Supply Chain and Security Act mandates step-by-step confirmation of product transfers.)
To this end, Optel Vision has introduced Optel Certa, a scanning station (including a handheld device) that enables users to scan a barcode (at rates up to 2,000 per hour), designed specifically for the pharmacy environment. Certa connects to an Optel-managed data network, which in turn provides automatic linkage to the National Medicines Verification System (NMVS) that has been set up in Europe. The immediate result is to confirm the authenticity of the code against the national database; subsequently, decommissioned, recalled or outdated products can be verified. Optel also offers to link the barcode reading system with in-house inventory control solutions.
Meanwhile, the company has also announced an upgraded set of barcoding and vision-inspection resources for the initial coding of life sciences products (either the serial numbers of pharma packages, or the Unique Device Identifications [UDIs] of medical devices). HD PrintSafe combines a high-speed digital inkjet system (OEM: Bell-Mark) with a web inspection system to verify artwork and variable data. The technology is said to be especially suited for thermoforming packaging operations.