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HP launches ‘cloud’ track and trace system to help fight counterfeits

By Gareth Macdonald, 04-Aug-2011

Related topics: Processing equipment, QA/QC, Processing, Globalisation, Counterfeiting

HP has launched a global authentication service it says will help identify counterfeit and stolen pharmaceuticals.

The platform is a track and trace system that uses ‘cloud’ technology, a centralised resource network that can be accessed remotely, to monitor the movement of pharmaceutical products through global supply chains using authentication codes.

The technology has been trialled in Africa in collaboration with mPedigree . However HP has chosen India for the official launch, citing the rapid growth of the country’s $21bn (€14.7bn) drug market which as the key motivation.

The service is initially being rolled out in India due to the phenomenal growth in the country’s pharmaceutical industry, which also is seeing the development of a parallel counterfeit drug market.”

Launching the track and trace service in India after testing the system in Nigeria and Ghana also makes sense given that Indian companies sell large quantities of pharmaceutical to African countries.

Indeed, earlier this month mPedigree forged a partnership with Indian pharmaceutical producer Themis Medicare , in a project specifically designed to apply the HP technology to its products.

Combatting fakes

HP’s involvement in the fight against counterfeit pharmaceuticals has increased rapidly over the last few years.

In 2008 the US computer and printing giant launched a technology specifically designed to help the pharmaceutical industry in the fight against fakes. The tech consisted of printer cartridges that allowed high quality printing to be added to tablets and capsules.

The following year the firm agreed to provide the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and Siemens with database hosting services for a pilot 2D barcode labelling scheme.