The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) have both called for a regulation that requires pharmaceuticals to carry a 2D bar code on their packaging. After an extensive study by the EFPIA, 2D bar codes were selected as the technology of choice due to their ability to store large amounts of information in limited amounts of space.
The pending legislation is designed to improve patient safety by reducing the level of counterfeit medicine within the European pharmaceutical supply chain. EU statistics released on 19 May 2008 confirm that 4.1 million medicinal articles were detained at EU customs borders in 2007, a 51% increase over the previous year.
Hospitals and nurses can take further action to improve patient safety by instituting processes to ensure what is known as the five rights of patient safety: right patient, right drug, right time, right dose and right route of delivery. The use of bar coding in healthcare settings can dramatically improve patient safety. A United States-based medical center reported an 86% reduction in medication errors over a nine-year period, since the implementation of bar coding.
We offer a complete range of area-imaging bar code scanners, including industrial-grade scanners for the supply chain, disinfectant-ready housings for point-of-care in hospitals and high-throughput presentation scanners for point-of-sale in pharmacies. By meeting the needs of the anticipated packaging code updates, Honeywell aims to further ensure a safe and secure European pharmaceutical supply chain, and to provide our healthcare customers with the required solutions, said Philippe Buidin, EMEA Marketing Leader, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility.