Traceability in Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

pharmacist fill container with pills

Ensure Safety and Compliance with Regulations

Pharmaceutical traceability is required to eliminate counterfeits, ensure patient safety, and comply with regulations. 

According to GS1, the global traceability standard for healthcare, "Traceability in healthcare enables you to see the movement of prescription drugs or medical devices across the supply chain.  You can trace back to identify the history of the transfers and locations of a product, from the point of manufacture onwards. And you can track forwards to see the intended route of the product towards to the point of care."


Traceability Standards in the Healthcare Industry

pharmacist scans pill bottles at a pharmacy
The Four Dimensions of Traceability

Know the What, When, Where, and Why

In the healthcare industry, counterfeit or defective product can have significant consequences on patient health.  Because of this, pharmaceutical manufacturers must adhere to strict regulations to ensure that their products can always be traced back to their source and that the Chain of Custody (CoC) and Chain of Ownership (CoO) for products are reliably documented.  In addition, manufacturers must be able to quickly and completely recall any defective products to ensure patient safety.  

To accomplish these goals, a reliable barcode reading solution must be implemented at every stage of the process.  Barcode readers capture valuable data which can be used, when needed, to determine four dimensions of traceability outlined by GS1: 

  • What products are impacted?
  • When did this time-stamped event occur?
  • Where was the product. Where is it now?
  • Why was this observed, which process step?

Identification Solutions for Pharmaceutical Traceability

Barcode reader with ultraviolet ring light reads labels with clear ink
Reliably Verify the Most Challenging Codes

Ensure Product Quality and Complete Accuracy

  • In the pharmaceutical industry, barcodes are often printed with clear ink that can be challenging to detect on labels due to minimal contrast. 
  • It is vital that each label has a barcode to ensure the highest quality product and complete accuracy. 
  • An iVu BCR barcode reader with ultraviolet (UV) ring light is an ideal solution for detecting bar codes in a low contrast situation. 
  • The iVu is coupled with UV illumination for an all-in-one solution that improves contrast on clear labels, so barcodes are easily and accurately detected for reliable traceability.
iVu-BCR-DataMatrix-Read-on-Pharma-Insert-w-Screen-Image
Verify Codes During Secondary Packaging

Verify Correct Product and Documentation

  • Once the product itself has been verified for accuracy and quality, medicine bottles must be packaged into the appropriate boxes.
  • Also, box inserts (that include user instructions and warnings) need to be verified and identified before sealing the package to ensure accurate documentation is delivered to the customer.
  • To quickly and efficiently perform this inspection, the data matrix code on the documentation is read and verified before the final packaging process.
  • The iVu BCR barcode reader verifies that the Data Matrix code on the insert matches the product on the packaging line.  In doing so, the barcode reader also gathers valuable data that can be used to identify and isolate any issues that may arise.
iVu-BCR-DataMatrix-Read-on-Pharma-Insert-w-Screen-Image
Pharmaceutical Automatic Inspection Machine
Read Small Codes in Confined Spaces

Reliable Code Reading in Tight Spaces

  • Another common challenge in the pharmaceutical industry is that products, such as pill bottles and vials, are quite small. 
  • Because of this, the codes affixed to the products are often small, wrapped around a curved surface, and challenging to read.  
  • In addition, there is often limited space to mount a code-reading device. 

Featured Products

ABR Series imager based barcode reader
ABR 3000

Compact Imager-Based Barcode Reader

ABR 3000 barcode readers offer superior decoding capability in a compact form factor, multiple resolutions, and a wide range of lens options.

  • Powerful decoding capability to read even difficult 1D and 2D codes
  • ABR 3000 is ideal for tight spaces and close-range code reading
  • Compact metal housing for industrial environments
  • Quick configuration with on-board push buttons or a PC using Barcode Manager, Banner’s free operating software 
  • Integrated LED lighting and easy focus adjustment in one package for maximum application flexibility
  • Factory communication options include Ethernet or USB for integration on the manufacturing floor
  • Embedded web server interface for monitoring images and statistics over any network

 

iVu BCR imager-based barcode reader
iVu BCR Series

Imager-Based Barcode Reader

The iVu BCR offers advanced 1D and 2D barcode reading capabilities for traceability in a rugged package.

  • Program through an integrated touch screen, remote touch screen or PC interface 
  • Reads a variety of 1D and 2D barcodes including DataMatrix (ECC 200), Linear Bar Codes, Code 128, Code 39, Codabar, Interleaved 2 of 5, EAN 13, EAN 8, UPC-E, POSTNET, IMB, and Pharmacode
  • Ethernet (EtherNet/IP, Modbus/TCP, and PROFINET) and Serial RS-232 communications
  • Read multiple barcodes in any orientation with one device 
  • Rugged IP67 housing for factory environments 
  • Available with a variety of lens and integrated light options – red, blue, green, white, UV or infrared

 

iVu BCR imager-based barcode reader
ABR 7000 imager based barcode reader

ABR 7000

Powerful Imager-Based Barcode Reader

ABR 7000 barcode readers offer superior decoding capability and are in multiple resolutions and a wide range of lens options.

  • ABR 7000 barcode readers provide advanced features including extended reading distance and field-of-view, advanced lighting, a variety of focal lengths (including autofocus) and the ability to link multiple readers together. 
  • Powerful decoding capability to read even difficult 1D and 2D codes, including DPM and low contrast codes 
  • Quick configuration with on-board push buttons or a PC using Barcode Manager, Banner’s free operating software
  • Integrated LED lighting and easy focus adjustment in one package for maximum application flexibility
  • Versatile lens options are available to simplify setup and configuration, including a software adjustable autofocus which easily adapts to changes in reading distance
  • Factory communication options include Ethernet and serial for integration on the manufacturing floor
  • Embedded web server interface for monitoring images and statistics over any network

See More Track and Trace Applications