smart and together

Digital Detectives

Thanks to standardised marking, manipulated medicines can be easily detected throughout Europe.

Falsified drugs are increasingly appearing in European pharmacies – putting patients at risk. In its Falsified Medicines Directive, the EU therefore prescribes a system for the identification of counterfeit drugs. As the leading European healthcare provider, the PHOENIX group was intensively involved in the development of the industry-wide process and implemented the requirements promptly on 9 February 2019. After all, patient safety is always our top priority.

Every package must feature a tamper-proof seal and be marked with an individual numeric code.

These include the serial number, product code, batch designation, and expiry date. All details are printed legibly on the package and incorporated into a QR code. Prior to sale, pharmacists must scan the code so that a networked system can compare the markings with data held in a central register.

If the comparison shows that a medicine with the markings has already been sold, the system raises an alarm and the incident is investigated. In the same way, wholesalers like PHOENIX carry out spot checks on their product range to prevent falsified medicines from reaching pharmacies in the first place.

Find out more in our current annual report