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A number of countries across the globe have requirements mandating the serialization of pharmaceuticals. These requirements can vary slightly from region to region, of course, but the basics remain the same. Each individual product carton must be marked with a unique identifying number in alpha-numeric and barcode formats – usually a 2D barcode. These numbers need to be recorded and uploaded to a central database. At the point of sale, the code is scanned and checked against the central database to ensure authenticity. It may also be necessary to scan products along each step of the supply chain, depending on regulations.
Package serialization is the marking of a package on the production line with a unique identifying number. These numbers are usually printed on the surface of the packaging or on a label which is then applied to the package in both human and machine-readable formats (usually a 1D or 2D barcode). These numbers are recorded and uploaded to a central database.
As a rule of thumb, in-line serialization can take anything from 60-100 cm of space on the production line, depending on the shape and size of the packaging.
A large number of industries benefit from serializing their products – any industry in which counterfeit products are a problem will appreciate serialization's anti-counterfeiting capabilities. This is particularly useful in the electronics and pharmaceutical industries, as well as for luxury goods such as premium alcohols and even caviar.