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Stolen Advair Demonstrates Need for Tag Bar Coding of Drugs – Encrypted Bar Codes Could Identify Stolen and Counterfeits W

Posted Jul 16 2010 3:05pm

Here we go again with drugs stolen and then even sold back to the pharmacies who don’t realize that the drugs were stolen in the first place.  It’s image no wonder I had so many pharmacists very “high” on having prescription drugs bar coded and tagged is this is also good for recall information too.  If you have not seen the news pictures of Times Square lately there’s a big bar code up there in lights. 

The city of New York is high on bar codes and is even placing them on garbage trucks, although I kind of get this picture in my brain of someone chasing a refuse truck trying to scan a bar code, but hey they have the right idea.

What you see here is QR codes which are not developed to the level of Microsoft Tags.   You can read all over the web on the comparison, and plus there’s the availability of encrypted gateways and the work in progress for authenticating for e-prescribing too which was my idea and is being developed by a company I chat with.

FDA Plans Recall Data Base – Nice Still Need Tags on the Products ...

QR Codes do not have the image availability of Microsoft Tags and all look the same too, so little personalization and this will become more prevalent as consumers will look at the bar codes as a “brand” in time. QR Codes do not have the same level of accuracy either, so for advertising purposes not a bit issue; however for using with FDA recalls, you need this of course to tie into SQL Server and put Microsoft Tags in the cloud if you want.  Again, drug, device companies, FDA and DEA missing the boat here.

Can you not think that in the case of the Advair stolen inhalers that the DEA would have liked a way to trace down the drugs not to mention the pharmacies.  With a 3D bar code, if they don’t register and go to the intended link, then you have your first alert right there as all of this can be controlled through an encrypted gateway and it makes it easier for the FDA to synchronize the information and deal with compliance as it would be automated way beyond what is done now.  The DEA might like this idea too for using encrypted tags to authenticate MDs when prescribing controlled substances too.

The Withings Scale already has the right idea in using Tags to authenticate a user and put your information into HealthVault.

Withings WiFi Connected Body Scale Integrates with Microsoft HealthVault To Use WiFi to Record Your Weight

The link below contains the permanent post and summary of what can be done with Bar Coding technology with Microsoft Tags and it will save lives as people get implanted with devices too that are not pulled from the stock room at the hospital.

Scan that knee, hip, defibrillator before you use it, takes a few seconds and will help hospital registries function and less mistakes.  Hospitals work hard to do a good job at this, but I continue to read stories to where patients have been implanted with a device that had been recalled and it was missed.  One story in particular involved a man who was implanted with a heart device that had been recalled and he died when it malfunctioned.  clip_image004 To me, this could have been a preventable incident and a life could have been saved if a simple scan would have put up the red flags to not use the device.

If a device or drug notification has changed, the Tag can be changed.  In the case of the FDA and a synchronized data base an encrypted token on the Tag from the FDA could be possible to ensure the information is not a copy cat and with the access to the page only allowed when it contains their token.  Unfortunately there will be those who try to copy cat out there, so this is just a little forward thinking on my part.  Without the FDA token, the information page would not be accessed

We had the recent “counterfeit Alli” warning and how easy would this have been to take your cell phone and scan the product to make sure you had the “real product” in hand?

Anyway after reading this post, please take a minute to vote on the poll I have on the blog, I appreciate it and perhaps we can get some dead heads working on a solution to where we can all benefit.  This is close to post #30 on this topic.  BD 

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s report that that 25,600 Advair Diskus inhalers worth $5 million , stolen from one of its warehouses in August 2009, have started showing up on pharmacy store shelves illustrates that pharmacies are often the crime-ridden ghettos of the drug business.

Now we know the answer to the question no one asked: Although some stolen drugs may be sold on the street or by dubious internet operations, much of it is resold back to the original pharmacies they were intended for.

While you may regard your friendly neighborhood pharmacist as the kindly person who hands over sweet chemical relief when you’re sick or in pain, underneath the white coat is a cutthroat business riddled with crooks. About 34 percent of pharmacies have rogue employees who steal merchandise or cash, according to this survey , and 44 percent of chains reported employee theft.

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