The pharmaceutical industry has been able to prevent excess flooding of counterfeit and harmful products in the supply chain by ensuring compliance measures for serialization and traceability processes are followed. By implementing unique identifiers (such as unique serial numbers) for products and adhering to rules set by regulatory bodies, the industry has been able to adopt serialization for their products. This has allowed businesses to quickly identify the challenges as well as blockages in the supply chain and ensure safety for the end users.

What more can be done in the industry to improve the processes for serializing products and to build a more efficient supply chain?

1. Strengthen data exchange networks

2. Incorporate sustainable solutions

Strengthening Data Exchange Networks

Businesses can strengthen and support data exchange between various networks which can improve implementation and help them have access to accurate insights throughout the supply chain. This is possible by allowing more and more data sharing between networks (such as providing manufacturing information for a product), serialization can help make distribution of products safer and quicker so it reaches patients in a timely manner. With accurate data platforms and the right analytical tools, resources can be freed up and operations can focus on compliance and serial operations through implementing data-driven practices. Markets in the industry seem to be heavily stressing on exchange of serialization data between different markets so it can make traceability of a product easier around the world. As one of the most recent trends being adopted within the pharma industry has been investing in blockchain technology, this has further allowed networks and trading partners to have efficient data exchange take place between them.

Incorporating Sustainable Serialization Solutions

Organizations can strengthen their serialization strategies and processes by seeking more sustainable solutions (especially in adopted existing serialization activities). Businesses need to factor in and plan further for all the existing processes as well as any other touchpoints that may be affected due to serialization. This would create an understanding about the areas that need focus i.e. workforce, technology, systems and processes. The serialization programs businesses adopt should look at meeting all the requirements and balance all the day to day operations. Organization events will need to factor in looking at serialization and traceability requirements in new or existing markets, network changes and transfers, mergers and acquisitions, new business opportunities and relationships that include marketing, distribution and co-licensing as well as factoring in recalls, audits, investigations and complaints.

Businesses should look at developing strategies that include sustainable solutions and to begin with can factor in:

  • Sustainable digitization for packaging – this can help with anti-counterfeiting of products through serialized labels, etc.
  • Create sustainable strategies for increased and cost-effective ROI – this should include market changes for changing and country specific serialization regulations, supply chain interconnectivity and all future technologies in the supply chain such as the use of AI and as mentioned earlier, Blockchain

A majority of businesses have incorporated serialization strategies in their organizations. By considering the above mentioned processes for serializing products, the industry can look at more efficient supply chains. As the trends in technology and regulatory updates keep changing, organizations can benefit from sustainable business practices and processes of establishing data exchange networks that are interoperable. Not only does this add financial value but it also has its merits for creating a more visible, efficient and compliance driven supply chain.