Why is Pharmaceutical Aggregation Vital?
3 min read

Manufacturing counterfeit and fraudulent items are highly profitable, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. The illicit market for prescription medication has become a global menace, with patients' lives at risk as it continues to flood hospitals and pharmacies worldwide.

Counterfeiters have established robust networks for over a decade and exploited the pharmaceutical industry, which desperately needs rules and security. To combat this, many governments worldwide are taking the necessary steps to enact strict rules and new laws to protect their countries, the various factors in the pharmaceutical supply chain, and, most importantly, the patients.

Be it "serialization," "coding," or "track-and-trace," the pharmaceutical sector is rife with terminology indicating a desire for transparency. The most recent is "aggregation," a rising data collection technology aimed at streamlining inventory and the supply chain. While the approach is still in its early stages, it has the potential to assist in counterfeiting, theft, inefficiencies, and confusion.

When working with a large number of products, product aggregation is a highly efficient activity that helps save time and resources. While aggregation provides more security, its utility stretches beyond security and into various other areas, such as:

  • Data Serialization - The data can be compared to predecessors by scanning the code at numerous locations along the pharmaceutical supply chain. If the numbers differ in any way, it indicates that the product has been compromised.
  • Enhanced Inventory Management - During aggregation, the information obtained through screening and serialization is recorded with a central repository, which instantly returns the batch location when searched.
  • Faster Decommissioning - Pallets can be decommissioned from bulk shipments without having to be physically there. It can also be accomplished using a mobile platform by looking for the damaged item and eliminating it from the shipment.
  • Operational Flexibility - The procedure aids in the simplification of the other complex medication like the export-import (EXIM) chain. Because many countries will be compelled to use aggregation as part of their pharmaceutical supply chain, widespread adoption will aid in the regularization and screening of shipments across global pharmaceutical manufacturing countries.
  • Quicker Rework - When you already know where the medicine is, you can easily replace the batch of a vial. You can achieve this by retrieving it from the system and modifying the unique identifiers and batch. Manual box handling is no longer required. You can also acquire information about a 'child' while scanning the 'parent.'
  • Faster and Effective Recalls - If there are any worries about a particular product, it is simple to recall it. They can be returned quickly and without inflicting any damage.
  • Enhanced Process Security - The pallets are kept sealed until they reach their destination. There is no need to open the pallet every time to inspect the contents. All the products can be identified by scanning the pallet serial shipping container code (SSCC) label. Because all the products remain inside the pallet, the procedure is more secure as no products are misplaced or lost.
  • Improved Warehouse Management - It is simpler to locate the products. The serial number of the goods can be traced back to the SSCC, which will lead to the precise pallet, case, or bundle where the product was packaged.
  • Compliance with Regulations - Many governments, throughout the world, needs product aggregation in addition to serialization. An aggregation solution facilitates ‘Track-and-Trace’ operations throughout the pharma supply chain. Critical information can be exchanged and validated from producer to wholesaler to distributor. It indicates that if the product emerges somewhere other than where it is scheduled to arrive, it is a counterfeit or stolen product.

So, to round it off, it is essential that pharmaceutical companies start adopting aggregation to combat the issues of counterfeit drugs and medicines. As we have learned above, it comes with various added advantages. Adopting this technology is a one-time investment that will yield results and give benefits in the long run. As a result, outsourcing all artwork-related tasks to an experienced Regulatory partner like Freyr helps pave the way to global compliance. Contact us right now!


Nirupama Parate
Senior Associate, MPR Presales