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The big pharma has been buzzing about a new term – serialization – for some years already, after the EU started preparing a directive about it. Now it has finally been adopted, and in the coming year all new medicine packages must be serialized, meaning made uniquely identifiable, even by the end user.

The primary driver behind the move is the battle against counterfeit or otherwise compromised, for example, outdated drugs. The Internet is virtually full of ‘digital’ pharmacies, selling you anything from Viagra to experimental cancer medicines without prescriptions, so the move is very welcome.

With a serialized package, the consumer can digitally verify the origin and delivery path of the package by the unique code, which is recorded in the package in form of QR, RFID or legacy barcode. The verification device is a mobile phone, or computer, accessing the manufacturer’s or national health authority’s system.

When built right, the verification system can evolve into an immensely valuable resource for the manufacturer, as it enables spime-like interaction with millions of end users. Medicine trials can be near real-time, with data flowing from the first package reaching the customer.

When each drug package has a spime, a digital twin in the manufacturer’s system, we have taken a definitive step towards fully personalized medicine. This will not only revolutionize the big pharma, but will also vastly advance the medical science, as the scientific method will reach the consumer.


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