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What Is The Difference Between Serialization And Track And Trace?

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What is the difference between serialization and track and trace?

The significance of an effective serialization & track and trace system can’t be overstated.

Both of these systems are considered to be the most significant aspects that ensures the existence of authenticity in the world of pharma’s packaging channel.

Imagine a world where every medication’s journey from the manufacturing unit to the patient is a complex mystery and where fraud plays a very significant role. The track and trace & serialization technology acts as the most critical parameters in this whole journey while safeguarding the health of millions.

Before getting into the core differences of both of these systems and what prominence they hold in the Pharma, first let us exaggerate and understand the basics of them :

Serialization – In the pharmaceutical industry, serialization is the practice of getting a unique identifier for all the pharma products and printing the code on the label or packaging before distribution.

The existence of serialization is different from country to country, where the labels generally include a unique serial number, code for identification, batch number, and date of expiry.

Track – To track an object, the path that will followed from the starting point to wherever the object currently is.

Trace – TNow, if we add “trace” to “track,” it means more than just following it means finding out the details about the entire journey. So, trace means understanding its path, like where it started, where it went, and when it reached different areas.

What is serialization?

The future of the pharmaceutical industry.

Serialization is a process where a unique serial number is assigned to each saleable unit of a product.

Further that code will help in identifying the information of a product’s origin, batch number, and expiration date etc.

For instance, a pharmaceutical unit may execute serialization by fixing a unique serial number, barcode, or QR code on each individual drug package.

What is track and trace?

The Pharma industry’s track and trace system involves the record of data, processes, and technological systems that help manufacturers ensure a safe and traceable journey for their products.

This careful process begins from the manufacturing facility, travels through distribution channels, and reaches on the pharmacy shelves.

The importance of this system lies in its crucial role in guaranteeing the secure and efficient distribution of pharmaceutical products to end consumers.

What is the difference between serialization and track and trace?

The serialization and track and trace system are almost identical to each other, where they just carry a thin line difference that too for the benefit of Pharma industry, come let us see those thin-line differences,


Serialization is typically made to assign the unique identification and tracking of individual drug packages using different serial numbers. This technique helps trace the product’s whole supply chain, ensuring safety and compliance.

The track and trace signifies the systematic monitoring and recording of the entire lifecycle of a drug, from production to distribution.

Example –

For example, using serialization the bottle of each medicine has a unique serial number, allowing authorities and consumers to verify its origin, authenticity, and journey from manufacturing to distribution, ultimately uplifting drug safety and overcoming counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry.

For instance, track and trace is used to ensure that each pharmaceutical product is assigned with a unique identifier, such as a serial number or barcode, allowing it to be tracked at every stage with all the transparency.

The Scope –

One of the biggest barriers any pharmaceutical company ever faces is when they troubleshoot errors for traceability and they discover “who did what, and when they did it.”

A serialization intelligence solution that provides huge flexibility in querying audit log data, which covers actions from all serialization-related applications, is a mind-blowing starting point for tracing products across the serialization infrastructure.

Track-and-trace systems permit you to locate any pharmaceutical’s current or past location in your supply chain very instantly.

Track and trace for pharmaceuticals integrates medical labels and pharmaceutical track-and-trace software. It helps you to follow the chain of any product through the hierarchy of the supply chain.

The Objective –

The very first and most significant objective of serialization in the pharmaceutical industry is to uplift and secure patient safety while ensuring the integrity of the drug supply chain.

Track and trace systems commit to the safety of the product the capability to trace the journey of a Pharma product from manufacturing to distribution and ultimately to the end user allows for swift identification and removal of potentially harmful errors from the market, improving the overall safety of the drugs.

The Function –

Firstly, serialization will enhance traceability by assigning a unique identifier, such as a serial number to each package of drugs.

This allows for very accurate tracking of the product throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing to distribution. Serialization is an important tool in overcoming counterfeit drugs.

Track and trace systems provide real-time visibility of every type of movement of pharmaceutical products while ensuring that the patients receive genuine and safe medications by preventing the entry of counterfeit into the market.

Why is serialization and track & trace so important in the pharma industry?

Serialization and track and trace hold a very prominent importance in Pharma industry, come let us understand how,

How serialization is contributing to Pharma industry,

Serialization is an evident weapon against counterfeit drugs that assigns unique identifiers to each Pharma product.

Serialization uplifts patient safety by ensuring rapid and precise identification of the source of a drug.

Serialization provides end-to-end visibility into the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Serialization helps protect the reputation and brand image of pharmaceutical companies.

How Track and trace is contributing to Pharma industry,

It will help you study the life cycle of the prescription drug starting from the place it is manufactured, who is repackaging it, who distributes it when it is prescribed, and when it is sold.

Gathering accurate regulatory and compliance necessary questions such as “What, Where, When, and Who”

Locating prescription drug batches and accurately where they are distributed.

Verifies if the prescribed drug is counterfeit, stolen, contaminated, etc.

Serialization and track & trace as a whole

Serialization and track & trace both are the powerful vitamins of Pharma that overcome counterfeiting, enable patient safety, and meet regulatory necessities. They offer end-to-end visibility, enabling quick identification of product issues, reducing risks, and building trust in the supply chain.


Serialization is the process of assigning unique identifiers to individual product units, while track and trace is the broader system that utilizes these identifiers to monitor the entire journey of products through the supply chain. Serialization is a component of track and trace, working together to ensure transparency, authenticity, and compliance.

Author Bio

Sanjay Sundesha:
Sanjay is a skilled expert in the machine vision industry. He has a passion for solving quality control issues that arise during industrial production, and he places a high emphasis on meeting the needs of his clients.

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