By: Optel Vision
By 2019, 80% of the world’s medication supply must be serialized, but only 30% of pharmaceutical packaging lines are currently equipped with serialization capabilities. This looming deadline ─ November 2017 in the US ─ is an enormous challenge for the entire industry, as the serialization process is a lot more complex than it initially seems.
Although the basic steps (printing codes, reading them, verifying them and ejecting non-compliant products) are relatively straightforward, that’s just the beginning. When we take a closer look, we realize that the difficulty lies not within the serialization operations themselves, but within everything and everyone required to make it happen on a daily basis. Main stakeholders include packaging, the warehouse, label control, validation, logistics, and many others, so the project can get very big, very quickly. This, of course, is in addition to the individual requirements of each packaging line and the numerous IT connections to a variety of systems, because all the data collected from the lines (like EPCIS reports, serialization results, e
tc.) must be reported to a database.
Meeting all these requirements takes time, not to mention a substantial budget, which can be yet an additional obstacle. Considering the currently low percentage of serialization-ready lines, many pharmas and CMOs might not make it in time for the deadline if they opt for a full-fledged custom system. Yet all these requirements still demand a highly adaptable solution that can be implemented in time. In response to this issue, some serialization partners have put together a line of preconfigured units, specially designed to be delivered before the deadline.