European pharmaceutical sector will rely on Microsoft Windows Azure to power new EU-wide system in the fight against counterfeit medicines
London, UK. — July. 04, 2013: Microsoft and its Windows Azure cloud platform has been selected to power the new EU-wide European Medicines Verification System (EMVS) that will be developed and operated by Solidsoft, a Microsoft Gold Partner. The EMVS is the solution put forward by the European Stakeholder Model (ESM) Partners – a body that represents the majority of the European pharmaceutical industry to combat the growing problem of counterfeit medicines sold across the continent.
The new system will see all 10 billion+ medicines dispensed throughout the 27 countries of the European Union contain a unique, encrypted product identifier. This will be scanned at the point of dispensation and then verified for authenticity in the cloud with Microsoft Windows Azure. The solution is part of the European pharmaceutical industry’s response to the 2011 EU Falsified Medicines Directive that aims to address the ‘alarming increase of medicinal products detected in the Union which are falsified in relation to their identity, history or source’.
Richard Bergström, Director General of ESM partner, The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), stated: “We look forward to the start of the implementation of the European Medicines Verification System. 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. Microsoft and Solidsoft will enable us to deliver a system that is robust, secure and cost-effective.”
Solidsoft was selected to lead the multi-million Euro project ahead of 20 competing service providers and was the only bidder to propose using a solution with back-end infrastructure that is fully cloud-based.
Garth Pickup, Solidsoft CEO, explains: “The cloud has changed the dynamics of large IT projects such as this forever. The almost limitless 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. It’s a very exciting time to be a service provider, being able to take on massive projects of this nature and win against larger competitors by using the power of Microsoft’s cloud.”
Mark Smith, Director for Health & Life Sciences at Microsoft UK concludes: “Better care and better outcomes for more people – it is what we are all striving for in the health industry. Through the Windows Azure platform, Microsoft enables innovative companies regardless of size to take on large and critical projects with the vast computing resources of Microsoft’s data centres around the world at their disposal in a reliable and secure fashion. Microsoft is delighted to be working with Solidsoft on a project of such importance to the health of the 500 million citizens of the European Union.”
About the European Medicines Verification System EMVS
The EMVS will ensure verification of product authenticity by professionals at the point of dispensing. The European Hub will be connected to a series of national data repositories, which serve as verification platforms, and can be used by pharmacies and other registered parties to check a product’s authenticity. The system will be harmonised and interoperable between the various countries and will allow for the reconciliation of products traded between EU member states (known as parallel traded products) as well as for multi-country pack management through the European Hub. Additionally, it will also offer those countries who do not want to set up their own national system the opportunity to use an off-the-shelf product verification solution (National Blueprint System).
About The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations EFPIA
EFPIA represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 33 national associations and 39 leading pharmaceutical companies, EFPIA provides the voice of 1,900 companies committed to researching, developing and bringing new medicines to improve health and quality of life around the world. The pharmaceutical industry invests €27.5 billion on research and development per year in Europe and directly employs 660,000 people including 116,000 in R&D units in Europe.
Solidsoft is a software development and services company specializing in bespoke application development and application integration, both in the cloud and on-premises. Solidsoft has many years’ experience creating secure systems for enterprise, government and defence agencies. They design, develop and operate innovative solutions to address the most complex of challenges and integration needs.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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 The ESM consists of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies (EAEPC), the European Association of Pharmaceutical Full-line Wholesalers (GIRP) and the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) – collectively it represents 2,800 European pharmaceutical companies.