Thoughts on Serialization and Traceability in Asia Pacific

By Marco Steinkamp, Global Sales Director Track & Trace

Our first Track and Trace Conference in Kuala Lumpur might be over, yet the buzz continues around the advances in serialization and traceability in the Asia Pacific region. We are thankful for the overwhelming support from our partners and speakers as well as the attendees themselves. The focus was on the common goal of improving consumer safety through serialization and track and trace. It was heartening to listen to the session presentations and discussions on how to transform businesses and operations, so they are compliant and profitable.

We were honored to have two esteemed Malaysian government officials speak about the initiative for combating counterfeit products and the implementation of their pharmaceutical track & trace system. Mr. Mohamed Aznan Shah Bin Khalid from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs presented the Ministry’s own initiatives for combating counterfeit products in Malaysia, enforcing intellectual property rights and protecting consumers. Passing copyright amendments such as the Optical Disc Act and Trade Descriptions Act significantly helped to strengthen the protection of copyrights and enforcement against piracy. However, Mohamed Aznan Shah Bin Khalid also emphasized the growing need for nations and the global industrial sector to enhance cooperation and share not only knowledge but also responsibilities in order to mitigate risks of counterfeit products in the global economy.

Mr. Mohad Azuwan bin Mohd Zubir from the Ministry of Health presented details on the upcoming Malaysian pharmaceutical track and trace system that will enable greater visibility and traceability along the entire life science supply chain in the country, and beyond its borders. It will help reduce falsified medicines and improve patient safety. He discussed how the cooperation of multiple stakeholders is needed, ranging from regulatory bodies to manufacturers to distributors. Mohad Azuwan bin Mohd Zubir noted that there would be challenges throughout the process, yet it also holds new possibilities to realize benefits beyond compliance.

Clients’ Learning Experiences

Our clients shared their experiences with drug serialization in the European Union. We highly appreciated them enriching our first conference in Asia with their best-in-class practices and knowledge on diverse serialization requirements for different stakeholders of the life science industry.

  • B. Braun’s presentation concentrated on global track & trace for the manufacturer, wholesaler and hospital pharmacy chain. Sharing their learnings from EU FMD, they provided a step-by-step guidance on how to tackle a serialization project as a global healthcare provider.
  • Adding to B.Braun’s best-practice, CSL Behring emphasized that serialization projects require a close coordination of activities across the organization as well as a clear definition of responsibilities. During their two-year journey, CSL Behring learned that the serialization story continues after the implementation in daily operations. Processes and personnel must be able to efficiently handle exceptions to ensure released goods can leave the manufacturer’s ramp and enter its supply chain.
  • Recipharm walked attendees through the entire serialization project lifecycle from initiation, planning and execution, to monitoring and closing out. Their key messages to deliver a successful serialization project is to encourage project owners to also consider multi-disciplined resources, market requirements and a detailed mapping of business processes.

Insights from Partners

Our partners bring a wealth of expertise and insights on serialization and track and trace. We thank them for presenting on the latest industry developments and solutions.

SAP provided an introduction into the entire SAP Track and Trace portfolio, highlighting current challenges and trends with a focus on the life science industry.

Besides explaining the role of global GS1 standards in achieving drug traceability, Tania Snioch from GS1 highlighted the possibilities that serialized unique identification can bring for the future such as access to digital information and aiding increased patient empowerment.

i2b generated a great deal of interest with their data integrity and validation approach that ensures compliance for almost every part of the IT infrastructure including system integrations and global solution maintenance.

Uhlmann shifted the focus from compliance challenges to opportunities of Pharma 4.0 and added values of a fully connected production environment, enabling automation, lean management, and improved data-handling.

Sharing best-practices, Wipotec-OCS’ presentation demonstrated that serialization is a complex and above all multidisciplinary project which, however, in combination with IoT technologies like Blockchain also ensures long-term benefits such as full supply chain visibility and improved OEE.

With a strong background in the tobacco industry, Hermos illustrated the necessary steps, timelines and roadmaps for a successful track & trace project, also presenting showcases and technology examples.

The Journey Continues

As serialization, traceability, and the connected supply chain continue to mature, we look forward to seeing closer collaboration between stakeholders and greater returns on investment (ROI). The shared data that creates a single version of the truth enables business-critical decisions and new opportunities all while keeping the consumers safe. Movilitas and our partners will continue to support these global regulations and initiatives with our solutions and services. Now is the time to embrace the current digital transformation to stay competitive and not be left behind.

Contact us to start a conversation about improving your track & trace capabilities here.