09 February 2010: Aegate today announced, in conjunction with the Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA) a collaborative programme to evaluate the impact and benefits of an authentication system in Germany. In addition, Aegate has presented the programme to the Bundesverband der Pharmazeutischen Industrie (the German Pharmaceutical Association, BPI), and has discussed the programme in detail with BPI members.
Aegate’s service, which is already fully operational in Belgium, Greece, and Italy, enables individual medicinal packs to be authenticated by the pharmacist before dispensing, confirming items are in date, not recalled or potentially counterfeit. The system also provides the latest drug safety information to pharmacists whilst dispensing, greatly empowering the role of the pharmacist.
The flexibility of Aegate’s system enabled some key criteria to be fulfilled; ABDA and the BPI required this authentication programme to co-exist with the current reimbursement framework that is in place for Germany; they wished to be able to evaluate a 2D Data-matrix serialisation technology and also needed a simple deployment for pharmacists. Aegate’s system seamlessly integrates into the existing dispensary software that pharmacists use, ensuring easy and fast installation for pharmacies.
“The fight against counterfeit drugs is one of the most important efforts in protecting consumers,” says ABDA President Heinz-Guenter Wolf: “Pharmacists are currently making a major contribution to ensuring that patients are provided with drugs that are suitable for dispense. To be prepared in the future against the growing international crime of forgery in the highly profitable drugs market, we started this project to test a technology that can provide even more safety for the public”.
Prior to full scale implementation, the programme will last around seven months and include numerous pharmacies throughout Germany as well as 15 pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers.
The timing of this programme and Aegate’s open approach to working with pharmacy and industry associations who have a variety of existing pharmaceutical frameworks for dispensing medicine, will enable a greater number of member states to evaluate and install authentication systems in line with the forthcoming European Commission’s directive on counterfeit medicines. The directive, which seeks mandatory safety features that will permit identification, authentication and traceability on all packs of medicine, is due to be completed during 2010.