Serialization Remains a Disruptive, Expensive Initiative

The future role of the pharmacy, package design and new EU regulations all challenge the pharmaceutical industry as it addresses serialization and track and trace.

Healthcare Packaging Group Publisher and VP Brand Development for PMMI Media Group, Jim Chrzan, hosted a Feb. 1 panel discussion with industry experts in Paris during Pharmapack Europe.

The panel agreed that serialization, including the new EU regulations that call for both a serialized drug and a tamper-evident feature, is the most disruptive and expensive initiative to hit the market in decades.Many new products were released at Pharmapack to address the need for tamper evidence. There are still many unanswered questions surrounding track and trace, including the role of the pharmacy in the future.

Package design remains a major challenge, not only for accommodating the necessary information for track and trace, but poor design remains a major factor in medicine errors in the hospital.Drugs with similar sounding names are not differentiated enough, and color is used for color’s sake rather than to call out dosing differences, etc. However, on the positive side, we are starting to see sustainability become a factor in pharmaceutical package design, albeit quite a few years behind food and beverage markets.

Biologics continue to be the rising stars of the drug discovery pipeline. It’s clear that packaging and supply chain will need to work in harmony as the cold chain adds to the complexity of drug distribution.

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