Proceed with Caution
Jim Umbdenstock, chief customer officer, Griffin-Rutgers Company, Inc. (Ronkonkoma, NY), says that he isn’t aware of any efforts to use the “bar coding of individual blister cells as a means of introducing anticounterfeiting and antidiversion tools.” Instead, “most conversations concerning anticounterfeiting and antidiversion tools end with the carton.
“The National Drug Code (NDC) number is readily available from public sources and is well defined as to its layout. Based on this NDC standard, the lot number and expiry date information must be added, whether in a human-readable format or an encoded version such as the Reduced Space Symbology Composite or Data Matrix code.” He also adds that because the majority of the healthcare industry is “behind the times in its ability to fully utilize bar codes, the human-readable format is still the dominant means for conveying this information.”
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Mass serialization is a possibility for blisters, Umbdenstock says. However, a simple “incrementing” numbering system could be easily counterfeited, he says, and “any computer-generated serialization pattern could be recognized by counterfeiters with enough product samples.”