Essential medicines and health products

Technology to tackle SF Medical Products

Field screening devices

A number of screening devices have been developed to assist in the rapid detection of potentially SF medical products, and have been deployed with some success.

A number of WHO Alerts have been published which originated from a product failing a screening test and subsequently failing laboratory analysis.

It is recognised that accurate, reliable and portable methods of screening in the field can be of great assistance to regulators and procurers, and when used properly can lighten the burden on quality control laboratories by reducing the number of unnecessary submissions

WHO cannot endorse any particular brand of device, but do emphasis that all of the devices available are screening devices, and advise that any products failing screening should be submitted whenever possible for analysis at a quality assurance laboratory for confirmation.

It should be remembered that all screening devices and methodologies have advantages and disadvantages and it may be appropriate to deploy more than one method of screening.

For more information on the available authentication and detection technologies, please view the following links and kindly note that this list will be updated as more reviews are published.

Authentication and Verification

Patient authentication technologies have been implemented in a number of countries, these include the use of text authentication via mobile phone technology and pack specific identifiers/ serialization that can be authenticated at the point of dispensing through the scanning of bar codes.

Track and Trace

Legislation has been passed by several countries in relation to the implementation of track and trace technology for pharmaceuticals with a view to tightening control over the movement of products through the supply chain.

Some countries have already implemented track and trace solutions and others are planning to do so. This technology is designed to track the medical product through the supply chain from manufacturer to point of dispensing. Methods being used and under consideration include Radio Frequency identification (RFID), Two dimensional bar codes and other technologies.

Some countries apply track and trace to all medicines, others to prescription only medicines or high value/ high risk medicines or medicines for export.