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Serialization Partnership Announced to Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs

Track-and-trace provider advanco launches strategic serialization partnership with leading pharmaceutical packaging company Syntegon.

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advanco and Syntegon have announced a strategic partnership, marking a significant step towards helping to eradicate the growing problem of counterfeit drugs. The counterfeit drug market is estimated to exceed $75Bn and is once again in the spotlight as the world searches for a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Some 10% of pharma products worldwide are estimated to be counterfeit, resulting in up to one million deaths each year
  • Serialization supports track and trace for pharmaceuticals – identifying a drug’s authenticity prior to sale, dispensing, return or recall
  • Pharmaceutical counterfeiting becoming an increasing danger as the world searches for a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Both advanco and Syntegon are members of the Open Serialization Communication Standard group, developing an open standard for the healthcare industry to fight counterfeit and save lives
  • Rami Cassis, CEO and Founder of Parabellum Investments, acquired advanco in 2020 

Designed as a one-stop shop, the serialization technology resulting from the partnership means that drugs can be tracked at every stage of the supply chain–from the production line to the pharmacy and right through to the patient–helping prove authenticity.

The partnership combines the strength of advanco’s leading site manager system (known as ARC), which handles the serialization and aggregation processes, with Syntegon's machines for packaging pharmaceutical products and drugs.

The development will bring value to pharmaceutical companies by significantly lowering the total overall cost and preventing a lock-in effect, allowing vendors to choose different machines from different suppliers, if they choose to do so.

The overall result of the partnership will mark important steps in moving the serialization supply chain from rigid to a much more agile model, encouraging industry openness.

Rami Cassis, CEO and Founder of Parabellum Investments, which acquired advanco in 2020, said: “Regulatory compliance for serialization is increasingly becoming a focus area for pharmaceutical manufacturers and supply chain partners across the world, positioning firms such as advanco at the very heart of the ongoing evolution of the entire pharma industry.  

“It is this exciting proposition that made advanco the perfect fit for Parabellum Investments’ portfolio of firms. We are looking forward to taking the next step with the company as it continues to develop new products and services for the benefit of us all.”

Alf Goebel, CEO of advanco, said: “With most developed and developing economies having either already laid out the regulatory road map for serialization, or in the process of doing so, cost and time savings will be increasingly important for the pharmaceutical industry, especially due to COVID-19.

“Never has it been so important for product serialization services to work together to minimize costs for pharmaceutical companies. The advent of the virus will most certainly accelerate the implementation of agile supply chain regulation – this will require a strong industry-standard open interface and interoperability.”

Both companies are members of the OPEN SCS (Open Serialization Communication Standard) working group, which was initiated in 2014, with advanco also being one of its founding members. Open standards will be vital to stem a potential tide of fake drugs and vaccines to treat COVID-19 as countries around the world struggle to recover after the pandemic.

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