Saturday, February 6, 2010

Turkish Serialization Plan Delayed Yet Again

In a online article written by Phil Taylor and Keribar Duman they document yet another delay in Turkey’s efforts to adopt a nationwide serialization coding system for pharmaceutical products.

According to the article, the further delay is a result of pharmacies still not having implemented the necessary technology for the process to begin.

Turkish authorities have pushed for the serialization due to widespread fraud in the reimbursement of medications, which is thought to cost the government over $150 million a year and as a deterrent to counterfeit and illegal drugs.

This is the third official delay of the ITS (Ilac Takip Sistemi) system. It was first set to launch on January 1, 2009, then July 1, 2009 and now the latest implementation date was at the start of 2010.

The ITS system was to employ a 2D datamatrix coding to medications that are either produced or imported into Turkey. According to the article the lack of implementation is the “ability and willingness in some cases-of pharmacies to implement and use the system for reading the codes”.

The Turkish Pharmacists Association has been instrumental in pushing authorities for extensions for the regulatory mandate and are on record as saying that issues with the ITS system make the process unworkable.

The inability of Turkey to implement this process in a timely and efficient manner exemplify the issue of a regulatory authority mandating a single approach to fraud, adulteration and counterfeit within a pharmaceutical supply chain. A serialized approach is totally dependent upon an entire system and process adopting an end to end “daisy chain” which is expensive and cumbersome to implement and maintain and relies on total compliance to become effective. Without 100% cooperation the process loses nearly its entire effectiveness and value.

Secure Pharma Chain Blog and XStream Systems; endorse a layered approach of material authentication, pedigree, overt and covert marker technology and ultimately serialization as the most effective way to efficiently, economically and effectively protect an entire supply chain. A multiple technology solution does not require absolute compliance to make it effective and valuable. In a layered technology approach, each solution provides specific protection which overlaps without creating added costs or onerous mandates.

To read Taylor and Duman’s article, visit:

To learn more about efficient pharmaceutical supply chain technologies, visit:

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