As pharmaceutical companies create more new medications, and the number of drugs in circulation increases, standards for their circulation are bound to become tighter. In order to help prevent future medication distribution errors, the European Unionâ€™s Directive, which is expected to become effective in 2017, will require all pharmaceutical products distributed in the European Union to become â€œserialized.â€
Serialization of products is by no means new, but for medication, serialization could provide an extra defense against potentially harmful or even fatal errors. By assigning a unique code or number to each pharmaceutical product, suppliers will be able to track and trace the specific medication back to its manufacturing source, providing extra assurance in reducing medication related errors. Label serialization can take form in many ways: serial numbers, bar codes, and even radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.
This practice is already in place in many other countries, including the United States of America, China, India, and Turkey.