In 2015, more than 20 million counterfeit pills and other medications were confiscated in one covert operation, according to “INTERPOL-coordinated operation strikes at organized crime with seizure of 20 million illicit medicines,” INTERPOL, June 18, 2015.
It’s a problem that will continue to plague pharmaceutical companies—and other industries—because criminals can make a lot of money by falsifying drugs that are in high demand, in short supply or are exorbitantly expensive for consumers.
In the U.S., the Federal Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will require that pharmaceutical products be marked with a national drug code, serial number, lot number, and expiration date in machine- and human-readable formats. Application of these codes for all prescription pharma products must be implemented by November 2017, and the pharma industry have adopted serialization as the technology to accomplish this.
To help businesses combat counterfeiting and address these new requirements, AT Information Products (ATIP), a provider of package coding printers, and Covectra, an industry producer of serialization-based solutions for track and trace, have joined forces on a multi-layered brand-protection solution.
The ATIP-Covectra serialization solution enables authentication, track and trace, diversion detection, returns/recall management, and brand enhancement. It also meets the requirements of the U.S. DSCSA for the pharmaceutical industry, and the growing number of industries now adopting serialization, including food/beverage, tobacco, electronics, and automotive manufacturing.
This technology is flexible and easy to configure, is quick to install and commission, and delivers a low cost of ownership. It was also developed by engineers with many years of serialization, packaging, printing and vision systems experience.
Compared to other market offerings, the ATIP-Covectra solution leads on many levels.
• Integrated solution: ATIP-Covectra is the only serialization provider with a Level 5 cloud database integrated with the packaging line solution.
• Flexibility: The ATIP-Covectra system can handle a variety of packaging configurations that exist within a customer's operation.
• Printing expertise: ATIP-Covectra offers reliable, high-resolution, and cost-effective inkjet printing.
• Rapid implementation: The ATIP-Covectra solution is quick to validate and easy to operate.
ATIP's line of AUTOPRINT® coders leverage HP thermal inkjet technology to deliver superb print quality for customer applications. This is helpful for the printing of 2D/DataMatrix barcodes and alpha-numeric characters as required by the pharma industry. AUTOPRINT® controllers are also multi-layered, password protected and easily validated.
AUTOPRINT products commonly used for serialization include the X1Jet and iJet coders, along with the X2Jet controller and twin pens. For applications where space requirements are tight, the X1Jet Stitch offers a slim design with controller and print head all in one. Coders are easily integrated with existing packaging machinery, and are a critical component to the overall ATIP-Covectra integrated serialization solution.
In addition to coding equipment, the ATIP-Covectra solution includes clean green water-based inks for standard porous cartons and a growing line of industrial inks for more difficult surfaces. Self-contained print cartridges jet solvent-based inks in order to adhere to a variety of non-porous packaging surfaces. From foils to paper-based substrates, hard plastic, glossy boxes and more, AUTOPRINT inks can print on virtually any surface where serialization is required.