Authentix-led Consortium Launches Pilot Program for Pharmaceutical Safety

Authentix-led Consortium Launches Pilot Program for Pharmaceutical Safety
Program integrates authentication and serialization best practices to ensure rapid confirmation of pharmaceutical data

York -  March, 2010
SecureTrace Consortium Launches Pilot Program for Pharmaceutical Safety
Program integrates authentication and serialization best practices to ensure rapid confirmation of pharmaceutical data

March 4, 2010 YORK - SecureTrace, a consortium of 10 UK companies that are using cutting edge technology to fight counterfeiting and diversion of pharmaceuticals, has successfully completed pilot runs of a program that relies on electronic tracking and authentication to ensure the safety of drugs as they travel through the supply chain.

"European countries have taken a fragmented approach to tracking drugs while the U.S. has struggled to establish a workable pedigree system," says Jim Rittenburg, VP of Healthcare at Authentix and lead partner for SecureTrace. "SecureTrace establishes a clear and workable strategy that has been developed and executed by all players involved in the process."

The project was hosted on a high-speed packaging line at Reckitt Benckiser, Hull. The process begins when pharmaceuticals are imprinted with unique and secure 2D barcodes featuring authenticating markers in the ink. A unique natural fingerprint is also generated using Laser Surface Authentication. Pack data is aggregated to cartons and pallets, next barcodes and RFID labels are applied to cartons. The information is then stored in a master database. Once the pharmaceuticals leave the packaging facility, field readers provide authentication and verification of the product as it travels throughout the supply chain to its point of dispensation.

"The combined use of four sophisticated technologies, laser surface authentication and forensic signature inks that enable authentication and use of 2D barcodes and RFID, make SecureTrace more comprehensive than any other programs being used to protect pharmaceuticals," said Ian Eastwood, Chief Technology Officer at Consortium Leaders, Authentix. "Pharmaceutical counterfeiting is a growing threat and protecting patients means that the product, not just the barcode, needs to be absolutely verifiable."

With other high profile projects, such as the EFPIA pilot in Swedish pharmacies, underway, the consortium is seeking to support EFPIA's stance, by ensuring that the pilot is aligned with their objectives, whilst exploring two additional critical areas:

  • The inclusion of additional authentication technologies that do not impact on the packaging design
  • The practical integration of technology at the production line and in the supply chain

"We hope that the project will catalyze a growing awareness of the powerful combination of authentication and serialization and their role in verifying genuine product in the marketplace. Furthermore, that there is a network of UK companies with the skills and experience to implement projects of this nature" states Mark McGlade Board Member of the International Authentication Association and Director at Ingenia Technology.

If you would like to see a video of the SecureTrace place pilot, please visit:

About the SecureTrace Consortium

SecureTrace has been part funded by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board and brings together 10 UK companies and research bodies under the vision of a lead partner to execute projects seen as beneficial to the UK technology sector.

Lead Partner: Authentix
Host Partner: Reckitt Benckiser
Research Partner: Loughborough University
Technology Partners: AND Automation (Systems Integration), CamData, ( Barcode & RFID Scanners), Domino (Print Systems), GIS (RFID Tags), Imsol (Vision Systems), Ingenia Technology (Laser Surface Authentication), PERA ( Information Systems)


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