The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has launched a pilot project in Sweden to detect counterfeit medicines.

The coding and identification system enables the EFPIA to detect counterfeit medicines, cease manual visual checks and monitor the progress of medicines throughout the supply chain.

Pharmacists, with the help of the system, check a unique identification code on each pack before it is dispensed to the patient. The 2D data matrix barcode can be generated and printed on the packaging by the manufacturer.

Scanners read the code and pass it to a verification system that checks that the pack has not been dispensed before.

The project is being carried out in partnership with the retail pharmacy chain Apoteket AB and local wholesalers Tamro and KD.

Siemens IT Solutions and Services is supplying the information and communications technology to the EFPIA.