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Schreiner MediPharm

Schreiner MediPharm: RFID marking solutions for auto-injectors

Use Cases | By Schreiner MediPharm | 02 April 2015
“The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly interested in RFID and NFC, bringing innovative products to market that have benefits for patients – the industry is aware not only of what a product can achieve but also the ease of its function and handling,“ says Thorsten Kircher. “The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly interested in RFID and NFC, bringing innovative products to market that have benefits for patients – the industry is aware not only of what a product can achieve but also the ease of its function and handling,“ says Thorsten Kircher. Photo: Schreiner MediPharm

Innovation for Medication - Smart Patient Information with NFC

In cooperation with global players of the pharmaceutical industry, Schreiner MediPharm develops innovative RFID marking solutions that increase the safety and comfort of self-medication.

Together with manufacturers, Schreiner Medi- Pharm is designing innovative solutions for auto-injectors with integrated RFID and NFC technology, to allow the easy handling and safe administration of liquid medicines. ”Schreiner MediPharm, provider of specialty labels, is the largest business unit within the Schreiner Group and has been a reliable partner to the pharmaceutical industry for decades. More than 70 per cent of our sales are generated by the export of multifunctional labels for this industry,“ says Thorsten Kircher. This shows that companies are searching worldwide for high-quality solution specialists who meet equally high quality standards.

Thorsten Kircher, Business Development Manager, Schreiner MediPharm, in an interview with„RFID im Blick“

Finest Example: Solutions for auto-injectors

Thorsten KircherThorsten KircherPens and auto-injectors are designed so that patients can administer liquid medicines themselves in an easy and secure way without the help of a doctor or a nurse and without specialist knowledge. “Injectors remove a patient’s fear of injection because they do not look like a syringe. In fact, in many such devices the needle is not even visible. This is more likely to help patients adhere to their medication schedule. It encourages responsible patients, takes the pressure off – for example – nursing staff in ambulatory patient care, and saves health care costs,“ says Thorsten Kircher.

High-quality medicine automatically injected

Injection systems are used especially for high-price liquid medicines, in which a single dose often costs more than 1,000 Euros. For example, in an anaphylactic shock situation, adrenaline is administered by auto-injection. Such injection systems are also used for drugs to treat multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and for growth hormone treatments. Thorsten Kircher concludes: “Patients whose motor skills are restricted by illness, for example those with arthritis, can still safely administer their medication by auto- injectors without the risk of possibly hurting themselves using a syringe. In addition, injection systems bring a high level of comfort for the patient.“

RFID and NFC solutions for injectors

“We can see the benefits of RFID and NFC solutions for auto-injectors in practical use, especially in two ways. The RFID technology accompanies the technical features of the injector. Most often auto-injectors are high-tech devices that are equipped with Bluetooth, WLAN and mobile interfaces. When inserting a new cartridge marked with an HF label, authenticity, expiration date and possible callbacks are first of all checked automatically, possibly via an online query. Additionally, the patient has the option to capture NFC tags on the cartridges and the injectors using an NFC-enabled smartphone, and to obtain additional information concerning both the drug and the proper handling of the injector, for example in the form of video tutorials,“ says Thorsten Kircher. He also states: “An NFC-based solution is ideal so that the patient can interactively retrieve important additional information, because patients increasingly want to understand their illness and the prescribed treatment measures.“

The integration of an NFC chip allows electronic tracking, patient communication or monitoring correct treatment. A printed QR code directs users to a website or to important additional information.The integration of an NFC chip allows electronic tracking, patient communication or monitoring correct treatment. A printed QR code directs users to a website or to important additional information.

Improve patient compliance

Self-medication always raises the question of whether the patient will stick to the medically prescribed treatment plan. This consideration gains more and more importance with respect to an aging society and a growing home care sector. „Modern compounds are increasingly sensitive to any deviations from a medication treatment. If a dose is missed or injections noticeably rescheduled, the treatment could be set back for days or even weeks,“ says Thorsten Kircher. Auto-injector labels with integrated NFC inlays can encourage patient compliance. „The dual goals are for treatments to be successful, not only in effectively treating patients, but also saving healthcare costs where unnecessary inpatient or supervised treatments are avoided.“ Patient compliance also plays an important role in clinical trials, because regimen adherence is crucial to prove the effectiveness of tested compounds.

Unique features for premium products

If the patents of certain products expire, generics come on the market and change the pricing structure. RFID is a way for pharmaceutical manufacturers to avoid a price drop or at least minimize it, says Thorsten Kircher: ”In many countries around the world patients must pay for their own drugs themselves. Auto-injectors, which are enhanced with RFID in the interests of patient welfare, improve the attractiveness of products and give manufacturers of branded products an advantage over simple generics even when patents expire, because of the unique qualities of the products’ ease of use and comfort.“

Serialisation: working with RFID after taking a detour via QR codes?

The relevant authority for the approval of medical products in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), does indeed appreciate RFID as an effective instrument for serialisation, but has finally issued a recommendation to use QR codes for the unique identification of medical products. Thorsten Kircher, however, sees potential in how RFID can be used for serialisation: “Pharmaceutical companies consider auto-injector solutions equipped with NFC and RFID for increasing patient safety. If auto-injectors are already applied with a RFID transponder, it is more likely they can be used for serialisation.“

The Innovator Schreiner MediPharm

Innovative leadership is reflected in many product developments from Schreiner MediPharm. One of the first innovations by Schreiner MediPharm was Pharma-Tac, a special label with an integrated suspension device for infusion bottles. „These labels are virtually a worldwide standard today. In the early days of MediPharm mechanical functions and later added security features were the core of the development. Today, digital functions are also a focus of our research and development. Our vision is linking products with smartphone apps and cloud applications. RFID and NFC are important components for us to continue to develop,“ concludes Thorsten Kircher.

The pharmaceutical industry in view

Since the pharmaceutical industry is not known for making investment decisions in innovations spontaneously, companies tend to bide their time and don’t make their decisions necessarily public, according to the Business Development Manager: ”Average lead times for the launch of new solutions or a new product are between three and seven years. We have partnerships with global players in the market and develop customised innovations, strategies and solutions.“

Last modified on Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:08
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