The European Medicines Agency now requires pharmaceutical companies to let them know if they will use barcodes.
Pharmaceutical companies are now required to communicate to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) if they have intentions to add QR codes to their various types of drugs and medications, according to new guidelines that have been issued.
Quick response codes are making their way onto a growing number of types of packages.
The reason that many marketers and packagers are using QR codes as often as they are, is that they are extremely inexpensive, they don’t require a great deal of real estate on print materials, and they allow for the sharing of a great deal of additional information. Unlike printing a URL on a product, using quick response codes makes it possible for a smartphone or tablet user to simply scan the barcode and be automatically redirected to the information they require.
In this way, QR codes can make it easy for pharmaceutical companies to offer additional information to customers.
The EMA has stated that there is great benefit that can be gained from the use of the QRcode for both patients and doctors alike. It provides a fast and easy link to additional information about a given prescription medication. The purpose of the guidelines that it has put into place with regards to the use of these barcodes is that they want to make sure that the usage is, indeed, informational as opposed to being promotional.
The new guidance explains that “There has been an increased demand by applicants to the centralized procedure to include QR codes in the labeling and/or package leaflet of medicinal products.” This direction from the EMA describes the different elements that need to be considered by pharmaceutical companies when they are choosing the way that they will be employing quick response codes.
There is a great deal involved in understanding the way that the QR codes can be used. For the purposes of medication labels, the companies need to keep in mind the platform that will be hosting the barcode content, the actual information that is provided to the mobile device user, and even the location of the barcode on the product label or leaflet.