Last year, Congress developed legislation in conjunction with the PDSA (Prescription Drug Security Alliance) in an effort to protect the pharmaceutical supply chain in the U.S. via PIA, or product identifier authentication. By the end of November in 2017, pharmaceutical manufacturers must be able to provide an SNI, or Standard Numerical Identifier, when verification is requested. The SNI is essentially the expiration date and lot number.
The problem is, Congress did not require pharmaceutical manufacturers to randomize serial numbers, which means that the PIA system could easily be gamed by criminals who are into counterfeiting prescription medications. Considering that serial numbers are typically sequential, all a criminal has to do is get hold of two or three legitimate packages of a certain drug. If the serial numbers are within close range, seasoned criminals can feel fairly secure that the numbers are being assigned to the product in a sequence – making it easy for the criminal to use the serial numbers on their counterfeit goods so that they appear legitimate.
It’s fairly easy for most manufacturers to see how PIA or product identifier authentication would be strengthened through randomized serial numbers. Thwarting criminals would not required full-force randomization of serial numbers, but just enough so that criminals would literally have to get hold of a large number of packages to determine what serial numbers are really safe to use. This is not easy to accomplish!
Ultimately, protecting your pharmaceutical products from counterfeiting also protects not only the supply chain, but your brand as well. At REA JET, we provide a wide range of drug serialization solutions, helping you protect your brand and maintain the trust of your customers. We understand the need for clear, durable marking solutions for companies all around the world, and constantly strive to provide innovative solutions with our products. We invite you to learn more about our REA JET high resolution and small character ink jet printers, and our laser marking systems.