Microsoft Azure will be used to power a cloud platform designed to combat counterfeit pharmaceutical products in the EU.
The new EU-wide European Medicines Verification System (EMVS) will be developed and operated by Solidsoft.
Richard Bergström, Director General of The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), one of the pharmaceutical groups working on the initiative stated: “Patients need to be able to trust in the medicines they take and this is a timely and important step towards finding a solution to the urgent problem of counterfeiting in the EU.”
The system will involve collaboration across the pharmaceutical supply chain from manufacture to dispensing, said Paul Mills, Customer implementation service manager at EFPIA.
It will also require a European hub comprising manufacturers' and distributors product information data. This information will be sent to national repositories.
The system entails manufacturers having to uniquely code all packages. He said: “Pharmacists will have to scan these packages and the point of dispense systems will have to be adapted to connect to a national repository.”
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SolidSoft has been contracted to operate and run the system for the next five years. The Microsoft partner has also developed a national blueprint for the repositories that could be adopted by any state.
Garth Pickup, Solidsoft CEO, said: “The cloud has changed the dynamics of large IT projects such as this forever. The scale provided via the Microsoft Windows Azure platform means that this massive project can be delivered to the EFPIA at much lower cost than on-premises. It will also easily scale to the 10 billion+ transactions it will handle each year in real time.