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The errors during the transition process to the Pharmaceutical Track and Trace System are a source of concern for pharmaceuticals industry

The pharmaceutical industry, which has carried out the requirements of the pharmaceutical track and trace system in advance of the deadline, would also like it to be known that they are not responsible for the problems that have been encountered during its application.

The application of the Pharmaceutical Track and Trace System, which was planned in order to provide patient security and prevent barcode fraud has been started within the scope of a transition period that will last from May 16 to June 1. On the commencement of the application a number of problems were encountered and unfortunately patients have experienced problems in obtaining their medications.

The fact that a number of statements were given in the press implying that a portion of these problems were caused by pharmaceutical companies is regarded with dismay by the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry made the required investments immediately and created the necessary technical and operation substructure that was demanded by the system far ahead of schedule.

The preparation process has been going on for 3 years. Despite all of the serious financial factors, our pharmaceutical companies have been giving their support to the project from the very first day and in order to meet the regulatory requirements have made sizeable investments. Despite the industry carrying out the requirements of the regulation within the stipulated period it unfrotunately still has been the party to suffer the most from the application problems.

IEIS member companies started, in accordance with regulations, to present bar-coded products to the market as of the beginning of 2009. However, in consideration of the period required by pharmacists, one of the most important components of our sector, to complete the process successfully, the application was postponed until the beginning of 2010. During this process a large number of our members who had released bar-coded products to the market ended up having to recall these products and returned to producing without barcodes. A similar case was experienced in the beginning of 2010 when our pharmacists requested an extension and stated that they would not be purchasing the bar-coded products. Following this, the realization of the system was postponed until June 1, 2010.

In this context, since the pharmaceutical companies had been waiting at the ready since the beginning of 2009, it appears that it is not possible for any of the problems that were experienced to have been caused by the companies. The products without barcodes which were specified in the press to have reached the pharmacists from the companies were products which had been produced before 2010.

Allowing the pharmaceuticals which had been released into the market before 2010 without barcodes to continue to exist in the market, as stated in the regulation, until the end of the year will prevent the problems occurring in the system operation.

Also despite it being notified that the system will be operated in a real time inquiry/verification mechanism, the collapse of the system has made it impossible for this application to be carried out. The use of a system that doesn’t function in real will not only be incapable of providing patient security during the process in which medications are obtained by the patient but it will also be impossible to stay ahead of fraud. Therefore it is mandatory that the sufficient substructure be completed in order for the system to work in real time.