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Published on 20 July 2009

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Aegate takes on counterfeit drugs


Patient safety communications company, Aegate has become the first company in Europe to successfully deploy a fully operational authentication system preventing counterfeit medicines reaching patients who receive their medicines through the legitimate supply chain.

As industry stakeholders and governments seek effective barriers to protect patients from counterfeit medicines, Aegate’s traceability service builds on its existing operating platform of authenticating medicines at the point of dispense, and permitting other certified actors within the distribution chain to be able to identify when and where a counterfeit drug enters. The solution supports Good Distribution Practices and creates a broader network of medicines checkpoints to tackle the growing counterfeit issue within the pharmaceutical distribution chain.

“Our commitment to patient safety and the delivery of a workable pharmacy authentication solution has been our absolute priority,” said Gary Noon, CEO at Aegate.

Authentication at the point of dispense and traceability require medicines to contain a unique and, ideally, randomised machine readable code. This creates a passport for each medicinal item, which can be read at required points in the distribution chain – effectively passport control points.

Noon commented: “Traceability is distinct from authentication as multiple actors within the supply chain must participate. As a further defence against counterfeit medicines reaching consumers, placing additional checkpoints within the distribution chain will raise the barriers to entry. However, there is always a risk of whether there are enough checkpoints, are they in the right locations and will all actors comply, therefore pharmacy authentication remains a critical final barrier”.

Verification of the unique machine readable code will log the medicines location, date and time as the product moves through the distribution chain, creating an audit trail en-route. It will also detect and prevent suspicious items from entering the chain or progressing towards the pharmacy.

A growing number of European Countries are starting to legislate for traceability including Italy, Turkey, Spain, France and Greece to protect their consumers from counterfeit drugs. “Traceability implemented with authentication is a pragmatic, effective and most importantly powerful method for tackling the dangerous growth of counterfeit medicines entering the legal supply chain,” concludes Gary Noon.


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