New pharmaceutical track and trace system announced for Bahrain

The aim of the electronic system is to ensure medicines are dispensed according to the correct procedures set by authorities, as well as to prevent counterfeit drugs.
By Ahmed El Sherif
04:29 am
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CREDIT: Bahrain News Agency

Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) has announced plans to establish a track and trace electronic system to monitor the supply chain of medicines in the Kingdom. This new system will reportedly cover the entire process, from factory of origin to final patient. 

The NHRA stated that the platform was to ensure that medicines – including controlled substances – are dispensed according to the required procedures set by the government and that counterfeit drugs attempting to be imported into the country will be flagged immediately. 

Local company MVC has been selected for the project, which will see drug manufacturers and distributors committed to using the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), expiry date, operational [batch] number, and serial number for all medicines sold in the Gulf country. This applies to both locally-produced and international products.

WHY IT MATTERS

NHRA chief executive, Mariam Al-Jalahma stated that the new electronic system would allow regulators to check the authenticity of products, while retail and hospital pharmacies would be able to scan products prior to dispensing. She added that it would improve patient safety and pharmacy operations by reducing medical errors.

“This makes the Kingdom a world leader in stopping the sale of counterfeit medicines and makes the pharmaceutical supply chain for Bahrain safer,” Al-Jalahma said. “We have designed our system according to the European Medicines Verification System where drug manufacturers collectively finance the system based on sales. Without any financial cost to the authority, hospitals, pharmacies and import agents will not have to pay any additional fees.”

ON THE RECORD

Meanwhile, MVC Chairwoman, Sheikha Dheya bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa – who formed MVC in partnership with AVC Global – added: “We have been building a world-class team in Bahrain to position the Kingdom as a world leader in supply chain track and trace systems. 

“I am honoured that our solution and team will be implementing this significant project for the Kingdom of Bahrain.  Now with the ongoing pandemic, the availability, authenticity, and safety of pharmaceutical supply chains is a more urgent priority than ever before.”

The system is expected to be launched during Q1 2021.

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