The verification of authenticity and identification of individual packs will be realized by printing a 2-D-Code (Data Matrix) on each pack. The code contains a product number (Pharmacy Product Number, PPN), which incorporates the German reimbursement number PZN, a safety feature required in the human medicine law in the form of a randomized serial number applied to an individual package, which can be verified against the original data of the medicine manufacturer. The code also includes the expiry date and production batch number.
The PPN structure is designed to allow for the embedding of any other national medicinal product numbers. This allows for an easy upgrading of proprietary national systems into internationally unique product number systems. The securPharm specification on PPN code is based on international ISO standards. In this way, the machine readability of the data elements is assured. The technical prerequisites for the implementation of the EU directive for protection against counterfeit medicines and also the anticipated additional requirements for verification of medicinal product packages are met.
The members of the securPharm project have a certain amount of risk: The development is done before the European Commission has published the delegated legal act. The advantage is that they have the probability to make arrangements for the innovations and to collect experiences. Nevertheless it is an investment in an unknown future.