DEFINING THE BASICS
Fraud has a massive financial toll. But in the case of the pharmaceutical industry, it has a human impact as well.
Every year, the worldwide pharmaceutical industry faces billions in losses due to the scourge of counterfeit medicines. To counter this global issue, many national governments have deployed regulatory guidelines, in the form of serialization and track-and-trace requirements, to prohibit the entry of any illegal or fake drugs in the pharma supply chain.
Ultimately, this move is intended to improve public health and restore people’s trust in the pharmaceutical industry.
With that said, the onus of serialization and track and trace eventually falls on the supply chain partners, who now have to ensure compliance alongside daily business operations. Many of the stakeholders aren’t even aware of what serialization and track and trace requirements entail. If you’re one of them, here’s an in-depth primer on what both of these are and their key differences.
But before we get down to brass tacks, let’s lay the foundation.
Serialization – A process of assigning a unique number or identifier to a given product or packaging level.
Track – When you track a product, you’re essentially finding out where the product is in the supply chain.
Trace – Tracing is essentially identifying all the entities that the product has previously been in contact with.