Brussels (May 30)—The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) called for the pan-European and industry-wide adoption of 2-D barcode technology to combat the increase in counterfeit drugs in Europe.
EFPIA proposed that every medicine pack in Europe have a 2-D data-matrix barcode printed on the packaging. The barcode would be encrypted and have a randomized number that is unique to each pack, making it difficult for counterfeiters to copy the barcodes and introduce counterfeit drugs into the legitimate supply chain. The code could be read by any handheld barcode scanner and would provide a chain of custody wherever it is scanned.
Counterfeit medicines have become a subject of increasing concern in Europe.† The European Commission recently released figures that show a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit medicines in the legitimate supply chain. The pharmaceutical industry is working to increase public awareness of the problem and come up with a feasible anticounterfeiting solution.