News on Turkey's Tracking & Tracing System

On the occasion of the conference ECA Tracking & Tracing, Tulu Veyisoglu (PharmaVision) reported about the Turkish Tracking & Tracing system, with Turkey being the first European country to have introduced serial numbers coded by means of the 2-D datamatrix.
Before the system was finally implemented, there had been several delays, which was one of Mr Veyisoglu's topics next to the current situation and the future milestones of the project.

The system's introduction in Turkey is divided into two phases: During the first phase, the 2-D code has only been applied to the individual folding boxes, in the second phase the aggregation is meant to be realised, i.e. the outer cases shall also receive a code.

Official announcement by the Turkish Ministry of Health on 2 February 2008.

Phase 1 ( Folding Box)
Required start-up date 1 January 2009
1st extension date   1 June 2009
2nd extension date   1 October 2009
3rd extension date 1 January 2010
Phase 2 (Case)
Application in Aggregation Units: 1 June 2009
1st extension date 1 June 2010
2nd and final extension 1 January 2011

Mr Veyisoglu sees the reason for the numerous extensions mainly in the lack of a pilot phase. The latter was waived in favour of a long transition phase. However, during this phase, there were a number of delays due to technical problems, e. g. shortcomings in the infrastructure of the authority's IT system and in the IT system's interface to the national reimbursement system. But the resistance of the Turkish pharmacists' association (TEB) also resulted in a delay of at least three months.

After the system was also opened for access by the pharmacies on 16 May 2011, meanwhile 23,230 pharmacies in Turkey and 11,982 products are registered in the system, 22,213 pharmacies use the system. Starting from 1 July 2010, no reimbursement shall be possible for products without 2-D datamatrix; however, already at the time of creation of this article, it is estimated that the date will be postponed to 1 January 2011.

Compiled by
Dr Robert Eicher

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