Combating Counterfeit Medicines: Siemens Starts Joint Pilot Medicines Coding
Project with EFPIA in Sweden


    



    
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<p>NORWALK, Conn., <chron>Oct. 23</chron> /CNW/ -- This incidence of counterfeit prescription medicines in Europe's traditional supply chain is growing. This is why EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) has launched a pilot project that includes the testing of a coding and identification solution in <location>Sweden</location>. Siemens IT Solutions and Services is supplying the information and communications technology (ICT). This solution enables counterfeit products to be reliably identified at all times and monitors the progress of medicines throughout the complete supply chain. The project is being carried out in partnership with the retail pharmacy chain Apoteket AB and local wholesalers Tamro and KD.</p>
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    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070904/SIEMENSLOGO )

    
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<p>Up to now, pharmacists were reliant on visual checks to make sure that medicines were not counterfeit before dispensing to patients. But these days will soon be over. In the EFPIA's new coding and identification solution, pharmacists will check a unique identification code on each individual pack before it is dispensed to the patient. This 2D data matrix barcode, with a unique serial number, can be easily generated and printed on the packaging by the manufacturer. Scanners are used to read the code and pass it to a verification system that checks that the pack with that serial number has not been dispensed before. If it is already marked in the database as dispensed, the pharmacist is made aware of the possibility that the pack may be counterfeit, and numbers are found when scanning the packs, an alert is triggered. Pharmacy staff can then take the necessary precautions and immediately trigger an investigation.</p>
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<p>In the EFPIA pilot project, Siemens IT Solutions and Services is the general contractor in cooperation with Hewlett Packard (HP) and SAP. The IT service provider is responsible for the project management and integration of the information interfaces between the pharmacies and the manufacturers. Siemens IT Solutions and Services is also responsible for operating and maintaining the IT infrastructure, including the technology and information systems, data integration, system security and system development. SAP <location>Belgium</location> will be in charge of the SAP® object event repository (SAP OER) and the implementation services. Hewlett Packard (HP) will provide hosting services and SAP solutions testing.</p>
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<p>The aim is to introduce a standardized coding and identification solution for the pharmaceutical sector in <location>Europe</location> that is compliant with existing international and European standards. If this pilot project is successful, EFPIA will present it to the EU authorities for replication in the other EU countries and so create a uniform platform for key players in the European pharmaceutical industry in the fight against counterfeit medicines.</p>
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<p>EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in <location>Europe</location>. Through its direct membership of 31 national associations and 44 leading pharmaceutical companies, EFPIA is the voice on the EU scene of 2,200 companies committed to researching, developing and bringing to patients new medicines that will improve health and the quality of life around the world. The pharmaceutical industry accounts for no less than 19.2% of global business R&D expenditure. It is the sector with the highest ratio of R&D investment to net sales (16.1%). However, between 1990 and 2008, R&D investment in the <location>United States</location> grew by 460% whilst in <location>Europe</location> it only increased by 250%, and there is rapid growth in the research environment in emerging economies such as <location>China</location> and <location>India</location>. Today around 635,000 people work in this sector and it is estimated that three to four times more employment is generated indirectly both upstream and downstream. A significant proportion of people employed are highly skilled and 117,000 work in research and development. The European research-based pharmaceutical industry generates a substantial trade surplus, which was estimated at about <money>48 billion euros</money> for 2008. It has contributed significantly to reducing the European Union's trade deficit in high-tech products - today almost a quarter of the EU's high-tech exports are pharmaceutical products.</p>
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<p>Siemens IT Solutions and Services is an internationally leading provider of IT solutions and services. It covers the entire IT service chain from a single source, from consulting to system integration, right through to the management of IT infrastructures. In addition, Siemens IT Solutions and Services extends the range of offerings of the other Siemens Sectors to include IT solutions. With its comprehensive know-how and industry-specific knowledge, Siemens IT Solutions and Services provides measurable added value for its customers. Siemens IT Solutions and Services employs more than 41,000 people and posts annual sales of about <money>5.3 billion euros</money>, of which over 70 percent are generated outside of the Siemens Sectors. More information at <a href="http://www.siemens.com/it-solutions">www.siemens.com/it-solutions</a>.</p>
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<p>SAP is the world's leading provider of business software, offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 89,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the <location>Frankfurt</location> stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol "SAP." For more information, visit <a href="http://www.sap.com">www.sap.com</a>.</p>
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For further information: For further information: Scott M. Smith, Siemens, Scott.m.smith@siemens.com, +1-678.327.9864 Web Site: http://www.siemens.com/it-solutions

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