The introduction of a medicines verification system has required changes to existing IT systems from all actors involved in medicines verification: pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, dispensaries, blood centres, distributor pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and parallel importers.

FiMVO has tested all various IT programs for use by all end users of the system. After this basic test, IT vendors have been able to start production installations for their own customers.

Pharmaceutical companies and parallel traders’ IT systems are directly connected with the central repository (EU Hub). The pharmaceutical industry submits their master data as well as the information in the unique identifier (unique serial number, product code, batch number and expiry date) for all serialized batches that will be brought to the market into the European Hub.

The EU Hub then distributes this information to all necessary National Medicines Verification Systems (NMVS). For example, in multimarket packs, the information is provided to all countries where the packs are available for sale.

Pharmacies and wholesalers compare the information on the medicine pack to the data in the national repository. The verification of the 2D-matrixes on medicines packs requires a scanner capable of reading the code. If the verification process result is positive, the medicine pack can be decommissioned from the system. Otherwise, the system will generate an alarm that will be resolved according to a commonly agreed alert process.

Alarms go automatically through EU Hub to EMVO and to the OBP (On-Boarding Partner) who uploaded the data. The Finnish national system sends an alarm to FiMVO, and FiMVO also automatically informs The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea.

The basic principle is that the unique identifier should always be decommissioned from the system as close to the end user, the patient, as possible. Thus, the risk of potential falsified medicines gaining access to the legal supply chain, can be minimized. Hospital hospitals and drug centers have been exempted from this, and they can already decommission medicines when they come from the wholesaler.

The Finnish NMVS is supplied by Arvato Systems. Arvato is the chosen provider also in several other countries (e.g. Norway, Germany, France and Spain).

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