Coughing, sniffing, fiver: a lot of people walk into the pharmacy so that they feel better sooner. Amongst others the business of pharmaceutical forgery booms in winter time. Especially in the United States pharmaceutical forgery in the amount of 1.5 trillion US-Dollars are in circulation. To fight these people who basically play with human lives, scientist of the University of Bradford in UK developed so called "Nano Barcodes", with which genuine medication can be engraved to be identified more explicitly.
Minimize forgery with barcodes
Not only Pharmaceuticals for colds and flus, but also Viagra and pharmaceuticals for cancer are on top of the list of the most forged pharmaceuticals worldwide. These are in most cases produced without the required standards and often contain other substances which make the patients even sicker than anything else. A lot of safety precautions like safety barcodes on the packages, which exist to prevent to end up with those pharmaceuticals are not enough anymore. Meanwhile the forgeries in these cases are almost perfect and very difficult to differ from the originals. The new mini 3D barcode from UK, which will be directly engraved on the pills, should change that. Indeed this new procedure is still not a wholly-owned guarantee for the authenticity of the pharmaceuticals, but the forgery will be enormously hindered and ensures greater safety.
Over 1.7 million different graving combinations
With microscopic tiny needles and a special procedure an almost invisible tiny 3D barcode is been engraved on the pills in Bradford. Depending on the positon of the tiny needles the indentations can differ in height and depth, whereby an individual 3D pattern forms, which can be read with a special barcode reader. Only through this kind of 3D prints over 1.7 million different codes can be created, which operate like an individual security code for each pill. Additional to the engraving procedure the University is currently researching for special barcode reader with which the pharmaceuticals can be read at the airports and in the pharmacies. It also been thought of a smartphone app, with which the pharmacies can control in connection with the barcode reader the authenticity of the pharmaceuticals locally.
In an interview Dr. Elaine Brown reports in a video out of the Bradford University more about the 3D Mini Barcode project:
Link to the Bradford University with pictures of the 3D barcodes:
Links to the original articles:
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