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And while these technologies all point toward delivering a safe, efficacious product to the patient, it's the patient who's not yet directly engaged in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
“If we truly want to end-to-end supply-chain security, then the patient should receive the original manufacturer's container and have the ability, via smartphone or the Internet, to authenticate that 'yes, this container was manufactured by pharma company X and this is a real container.'”
Attribute the quote to our friend Walt Berghahn in his thought-provoking story that begins on page 23. The executive director of the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council, Berghahn is also president of SmartRmeds for Life. Visit his Web site at www.smartrmeds4life.com, and you'll get a real sense of his passion: “Hello, Mr. President. I think I found a way to pay for your $940 billion Healthcare Reform Bill and make people healthier along the way.”
For economic reasons, I order a couple of ongoing medications through a “big-box” mail-order pharmacy. I am confident in the product from the pharmaceutical manufacturer. But from the point that the pharmacy opens the manufacturer's container through the repackaging and distribution processes, it takes faith to believe that every pill I take contains the prescribed drug and the correct dose.
I'd like to be able to authenticate the product through its package, learn more about the medication, and maybe even communicate my adherence to my doctor.
It's time to showcase these packaging innovations to patients who can most benefit through improved health outcomes that could help deliver a return on investment throughout the supply chain.