Coding and marking specialist Interactive Coding Equipment (ICE) has produced an in-depth guide to help pharmaceutical manufacturers make informed choices in the selection of the most appropriate coding equipment for their applications.

With many manufacturers having to review their coding operations in light of the forthcoming European Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), the new ICE Pharmaceutical Guide explains the principles of serialisation and its importance in delivering effective traceability to help combat counterfeit drugs and ensure patient safety.  It details the different coding technologies available – thermal transfer, thermal inkjet, continuous inkjet, laser, case coders and label print applicators – and discusses their suitability for the typical demands of pharmaceutical coding.

The guide also lists the main considerations that pharmaceutical companies need to take into account when selecting their coding solution, in particular emphasising the importance of a common operating system.  In addition, it covers the key performance criteria such as speed, ‘last label’ capability for label print applicators, and the ability to produce an ‘audit’ trail, all of which are essential to achieving effective serialisation.

While the FMD remains a major focus within the pharmaceutical sector, ICE points out that the industry in general is one of the most heavily regulated.  Many companies are also operating in the wider global market and therefore the type of codes required may have wider implications and also impact on the selection of the right coder.

“Without an effective coding system, pharmaceutical manufacturers are unable to operate internationally and so they cannot afford to make the wrong decisions when selecting their equipment,” explains ICE Managing Director Chris Simpson.

“Our Pharmaceutical Guide provides impartial advice to help companies make the right choices.”

The Pharmaceutical Guide can be downloaded at

The ICE Barcode and Secondary Packaging guides can be viewed and downloaded at

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