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Home Technology Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Serialization: Improving Track & Trace

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Serialization: Improving Track & Trace


Traceability in pharmaceutical products is now widely seen as a global mandate. With laws varying from country to country, major pharmaceutical companies are looking for ways to improve how they track and track their products in the supply chain to stay compliant at all times.

Struggling to continually meet these requirements causes pharmaceutical companies to develop and implement new serialization techniques. Supply chain security, the fight against counterfeit and altered drugs, better product traceability and overall cost savings are the main motivations.

Reports indicate that by 2023, more than 90% of the global drug supply will be investigated under the rail-and-rail regulations. The program will improve patient safety measures by combating drug forgery.

Serialization is also no longer limited to global compliance mandates. It is helping more and more pharmaceutical companies to add transparency, accountability and integrity to their supply chains.

Serialization appears to be more effective at reducing shrinkage (i.e., errors and theft) than other solutions such as sturdy packaging and traceable 3D hologram models.

Figure 1Common loopholes in the pharmaceutical supply chain

Innovation is the key to improving track and track in any supply chain model, including the often complex pharmaceutical supply chain.

Companies worldwide invest millions of dollars in maintaining product integrity.

Assigning unique identification numbers or barcodes to individual items (such as a strip of tablets or a bottle of medicine) for computerized serialization and tracing becomes one of the best ways to maintain product integrity.

Among newer innovations and latest trends in serialization in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Data encryption and data security

The ultimate goal of pharmaceutical supply chain serialization is to ensure that consumers get the right medicine at the right price and quality. At the same time, companies that track their products and track where each shipment is at any given moment know.

Verification for this requires very strict data management and security. One way to get this done is through computerized encryption that allows only designated people to read the data.

The pharmaceutical industry loses on average 4.5% of its potential revenue due to supply chain inefficiencies.Source: Interactive Data Corporation

Recall individual products

The pharmaceutical industry is highly susceptible to recalls caused by things like poor packaging leading to contaminated products that can be harmful to patients.

Previously, these revocations were made at bundle levels, causing large revenue losses and disrupting the supply chain. By limiting defective medicines to individual units, it enables companies to limit recalls to specific products. The same serialization can then be used to determine when and where the product has been altered or contaminated.

Figure: 2 Serialization to improve Track and Trace

Serialization to improve Track and Trace

Use of advanced analysis

Life sciences organizations and their research groups are constantly working to understand what consumers need and want by studying buying trends. The use of advanced analysis applications such as Microsoft Power BI creating in-depth business intelligence reports becomes the best way to help realize these patterns and act accordingly. Power BI’s dashboards use interactive visualizations to help users make informed decisions about whether and when to change their production schedules to keep up with market demand.

Improved visibility at every level of supply chain

Serialization is a great way for companies to provide accountability when it comes to complying with government regulations. It is also a great way to improve visibility and improve monitoring at every level of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Knowing how much of what you have and where to reduce inventory outs improves overall distribution and ensures your products are available when and where consumers want them.

Bar coding and labeling

Bar codes can provide much more information than just a serial number alone. You can include electronic links to product information sheets, safety data sheets, ingredients, storage requirements, shipping requirements, dosage levels and other information. All a worker has to do is scan a code created advanced label making capabilities use a barcode reader or mobile phone to access this data on the spot.

$ 200 billion (10%): this is the global monetary cost of counterfeit drugs according to the World Health Organization.
One million: This is the annual cost in human lives each year of counterfeit and altered medicine according to Interpol.

Impact of serialization on companies

In the United States, the serialization of all drugs at the sealable unit and case level became a requirement with the adoption of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in November 2017. This requirement has an impact on pharmaceutical companies and their had supply chain. suppliers who had to ensure serialization of all drugs at an individual container or dose level with barcodes for better detection and detection.

Eventually, however, it led to a number of benefits, including:

  • Better market visibility following individual drug demand. It helps by enabling more efficient drug distribution.
  • Warehouses and warehouses need to be equipped with a reinforced drug distribution plan.
  • Better understanding and communication between cross-functional teams. Because serialization provides an inflow and outflow of different information, life science researchers, packaging staff, IT experts, and distributors can share any data available for a particular drug.

Challenges in serialization

Like any other supply chain change, serialization has its own set of challenges, including:

  • Hardware Setup and Updates
    Companies must ensure that they have the right equipment and supplies on hand at all times to print the labels, barcodes and stamps required for serialization.
  • Consistent flow of the production line
    The introduction of serialization and the training needed to understand the process can have an early impact on the production line, as labeling of each product can initially slow down the process.
  • Higher cost
    Adding serialization to an existing process often means adding costs in terms of hardware, software, and people. These costs can be reduced by using aggregate investments and sustainable applications of the hardware and software.
  • Shortage of skilled staff
    Newer digital methods of serialization require a workforce that understands what needs to be done. Companies face a lack of a skilled employee base that is technical enough to implement their serialization strategies.
  • Technical errors
    Serialization should ultimately require minimal human intervention, with the goal of significantly reducing hand errors. With anything else so integrated, you will need to make sure that any technical issues can be identified and addressed in a timely manner to avoid any major disruption to production.

XcelPros’ Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions enable pharmaceutical companies to seamlessly implement serialization for better compliance and improved tracking and tracing.

Start now

Key benefits of serialization in operations

Pharmaceutical companies that can benefit from advanced digital serialization processes for their supply chain operations often realize a number of benefits, including:

  • Easy end-to-end implementation across the supply chain
  • Effective sealing of supply chain loopholes to combat drug counterfeiting and packaging defects
  • Minimal human intervention required, makes serialization a foolish, effective way to ensure brand authenticity and reduce group recall
  • Full compliance with government traceability regulations
  • Reduction of counterfeit drugs and impaired quality.

Final Thoughts

In general, serialization in the pharmaceutical supply chain plays a significant role in avoiding drug theft, counterfeiting, group recall and and other potential hazards. Each pharmaceutical company must have a unique serialization process to meet its requirements. Newer serialization software uses advanced analytics for better drug distribution and fewer inventory outs.

With government mandates requiring pharmaceutical companies and their supply chain vendors to understand and master the technical details of implementing serialization at bundle and case levels in an effort to strengthen their supply chain and improve visibility, these companies must be willing to overcome any challenges that arise. . Is your track-and-track solution ready?

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based technology technology provider. We offer business and technology solutions with in-depth industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Equipment, Bio-Medical and Biotechnology), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food and Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) providing software licensing, deployment and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI) , SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IoT, Microsoft Flow among many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that enhance impact and empower our customers’ businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll free – 1,855,411,0585 (or) visit

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