Traceability in the supply chain

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We addressed the issue of traceability with Dr. Roberto De Luca, professor at the University of Padua and expert in logistics in the pharmaceutical sector, a very complex system especially in the healthcare supply chain.

One of the primary objectives of those involved in the health supply chain is to guarantee product safety. How? With traceability that is as effective as possible.

The final recipient, the consumer, must receive a product which, once it leaves the pharmaceutical industry, maintains its quality and safety unaltered throughout its journey. Achieving this goal was not easy and took a long time.

The Dr. De Luca recalls that already in the 1980s he himself had highlighted the critical issues and the need to improve the traceability of the drug, encountering many difficulties, starting from companies that did not know precisely the destination of their product batches. He also mentions, among the difficulties overcome, criminal phenomena such as theft and counterfeiting, and it was thanks to the reports from the police that the problem of traceability received greater attention.

In the interview De Luca talks to us about how the supply chain has evolved in the past up to the present day, passing through the Covid-19 health emergency which has focused attention on the importance of product transport conditions, as in the case of vaccines.

Lastly, the problem of ecological and economic sustainability should not be overlooked: to meet therapeutic innovations it is necessary to mobilize the supply chain no longer for entire batches of product, but sometimes for a drug intended for a single individual.

Having safe traceability of medicines is essential to guarantee their safety and effectiveness