EU Commission Implements Track & Trace Solutions to Address Medicine Shortages


The EU Commission has responded to the ongoing drug shortage in Europe with the largest reform of pharmaceutical legislation in 20 years. Innovative technologies, such as the Track & Trace solutions from b+b, play a crucial role in this effort. With predictions of a significant scarcity of medicines for seasonal infections, particularly among children, it is of paramount importance to ensure efficient and secure medication supply.

Globalization of pharmaceutical industry leads to medicine shortages in Europe

The increasing globalization of the pharmaceutical industry is one of the main reasons for the shortage of medicines. Due to cost considerations, medications and their active ingredients are being produced less frequently in Germany and the EU, while China and India dominate the market. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption of supply chains have led to repeated supply shortages in recent years, which are also affecting pharmacies.

The EU Commission has taken measures to counteract the shortage of essential medications by encouraging the relocation of pharmaceutical production within the EU. This initiative, known as the “European Health Union,” aims to create conditions that will enable Europe to compete with pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Far East. In addition to legislative and regulatory measures in the areas of pharmaceutical regulation and patent protection, technological solutions are also necessary to establish a competitive and high-performing environment.

The Track & Trace solution provided by b+b plays a crucial role in ensuring the necessary supply chains and monitoring of distribution flows. With its software, systems, and customized complete solutions for serialization, coding, and aggregation of pharmaceutical products, bb trace enables seamless tracking of products throughout the entire value chain. This creates a foundation for data exchange between various stakeholders and allows for optimized control and management of medication supply.

The pharmaceutical-specific labeling systems developed by b+b integrate the processes of printing, identification, labeling, and inspection. These fully automated labeling solutions have a wide range of applications, including ampoule labeling, folding carton labeling, tube labeling, and vial labeling. With the ability to perform multiple functions in one system, these labeling machines offer increased efficiency and accuracy in the pharmaceutical industry.

One of the advantages of b+b’s Track & Trace solutions is the labeling of a folding box with a unique serial number, which is then aggregated in the next higher packaging unit and ultimately in a shipping unit. This allows for improved quality assurance as medications can be traced seamlessly from the manufacturer to the end consumer. By optimizing supply chains, losses due to product aging can be reduced. Additionally, cross-border delivery traffic is simplified as reliable data on individual shipments are always available. Product recalls and loss notifications can be handled more easily and reliably.

For over 30 years, b+b Automations- und Steuerungstechnik GmbH has been developing and manufacturing custom machines for various industries, including the pharmaceutical sector. With their specialized labeling solutions and high-performance labeling machines, they play a crucial role in successfully implementing pharmaceutical reforms and expanding the industrial base in Germany and Europe.

Overall, b+b’s Track & Trace solutions offer significant advantages for the modern design of the pharmaceutical industry. They enhance quality management, secure medication supply, and optimize supply chains. In times of drug shortages, such solutions are indispensable for ensuring the provision of safe and effective medication to the population.

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