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Our Responsibility

Content :

Social responsibility
SAFEGUARDING PATIENTS

Counterfeit drugs are designed to deceive consumers by using misleading packaging and mimicking the shape, color, size, and imprints of genuine drugs. Often, counterfeit drugs contain trace amounts of the alleged active ingredients and sometimes have no active ingredients at all.

Sanofi is committed to eradicating these illegal operations. Why? Because taking counterfeit medications can cost patients their lives. As a company, we are involved with many organizations including international pharmaceutical associations, and law enforcement agencies to address this ever-growing problem.

In January 2011, Sanofi implemented a a two-dimensional (2D) barcoding identification system, called Data Matrix, which was a French legislative requirement. However, Sanofi went a step further using the identification system for at-risk products on an international level. It is used for block buster products which are at-risk for counterfeiting. More recently, in December 2011, Sanofi Pasteur US shipped its first 2D barcoded units of Pediatric Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed (DT) vaccine – becoming the first manufacturer in the vaccine industry to implement this innovative technology on the unit-of-use.

Vaccine vial with 2-D barcode
Vaccine vial with 2-D barcode

The system consists of a two-dimensional barcode printer on each box that contains tracking information: product code (CIP code), batch number and expiration date. Data Matrix codes are read when drugs are dispensed, improving traceability and enabling automatic detection of falsified or expired products. They also facilitate batch recalls.

Another facet of this Data Matrix identification system is that it allows disabled patients including blind patients and those with a visual or dexterity impairment to know what product they are purchasing. The Notiris software can read the information contained in the Data Matrix code by connecting to a specific database that provides the drug's name, dosage and expiration date. The information is given orally and in writing. The product leaflet will also be accessible thanks to the software, which will be available to PC, Mac and smartphone users in 2012. A dedicated website is in preparation to provide more information about this innovative tool.

The fight against conterfeit drugs

Last update: November 14, 2012