Barcode solution role in pharma serialisation: Ensuring medication safety - Hindustan Times

Barcode solution role in pharma serialisation: Ensuring medication safety

ByHindustan Times
Dec 27, 2023 04:43 PM IST

This article is authored by Dinesh Pilgaokar, chief customer officer & executive vice president, process manufacturing, Barcode India.

As technology advances and regulatory scrutiny intensifies, it is critical to ensure the safety and authenticity of pharmaceutical products across the supply chain. Adherence to serialisation compliance standards is becoming a global standard, and this is especially important for India, a significant exporter to global markets dealing with expanding domestic compliances. Additionally, evolving rules in various countries emphasise the need for a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to effectively address these compliance mandates.


The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 10% of medicines in global circulation may be counterfeit, with some countries experiencing even higher rates, reaching up to 50%. Counterfeit drugs pose severe risks to public health and the reputation of the pharmaceutical industry. This is where serialisation leveraging barcode solutions comes into play as a key tactic to combat counterfeiting, improve product traceability, supply authentic, safe products, and build consumer confidence.

Unpleasant health experiences caused by counterfeit drugs can end up undermining public's confidence in medical community and healthcare system. This lack of trust can end up affecting the industry as a whole in the long run. Here, serialisation, involving the assignment of unique serial numbers or codes to individual products, plays a vital role in ensuring patients' safety and maintaining a positive brand image. Preventing human-related medical errors, barcode solutions enable simplified code tracking from manufacturing to distribution, assisting identification and addressing of potential quality issues or contamination. This, in turn, ensures patient protection.

In addition to making code tracking easier, serialisation leveraging barcodes creates a digital identification for each product, enhancing transparency and facilitating faster identification of irregularities. This further enables effective product recalls and quality issues management. In addition, security labeling solutions can detect tampering with pharmaceutical packages and promptly remove compromised products from the supply chain by providing alerts. Consequently, manufacturers can minimise the impact on public health by swiftly identifying problematic batches and carrying out targeted recalls with the use of precise traceability data.

Forfending faulty batches, serialisation enabled barcode solutions maximise public health along with maintaining a demand-supply balance. Assigning distinct serial numbers or codes to individual products during manufacturing, combined with barcode solutions, offers end-to-end visibility. This allows manufacturers to monitor inventory at various supply chain levels, optimise processes for efficiency, and effectively forecast demand, thereby maintaining a responsive supply chain.

Beyond supporting a flexible supply chain, the barcode system in conjunction with serialisation, facilitates the collection of extensive data sets. By evaluating this data, producers can gain detailed insights into consumption trends, including geographic variances, seasonal swings, and demographic preferences. Equipped with this understanding, pharmaceutical enterprises can customise manufacturing and strengthen inventory control, leading to reduced expenses and increased operational effectiveness.

Pharmaceutical serialisation has become crucial for maintaining and retrieving the records of each medicine, satisfying patient safety criteria in an era of rapidly developing new treatments and increasing compliances. Barcode solutions, as a powerful instrument, facilitate distinct product identification, improving visibility and transparency.

Upholding the authenticity and credibility of the pharmaceutical sector is made possible in a significant way by barcode solutions, which guarantee regulatory compliance, fight counterfeiting, improve tracking capabilities, improve inventory management, and provide patient safety. Adopting serialisation builds consumer confidence and trust by showcasing a business's commitment to creating and delivering authentic, safe products. As we progress and technology and regulations continue to evolve, the role of barcode solutions in pharma serialisation will remain critical in sustaining patient trust and well-being, preserving the pharmaceutical industry's reputation.

This article is authored by Dinesh Pilgaokar, chief customer officer & executive vice president, process manufacturing, Barcode India.

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