ema qr code guidelines

You would’ve seen QR Codes on promotional material. They serve as an excellent tool to drive traffic from print media to online content. But it’s not just marketers who can benefit from QR Codes. Patients and healthcare professionals can also benefit from them.

If you’re a pharma company/medical group/healthcare company, you can use QR Codes to:

1. Redirect your audience to your website

2. Show them a video on subject-specific matter

3. Provide detailed product information via PDF

There can be many other use cases. And to do this, you can use QR Codes on your print media material such as brochures, flyers, newspapers, and magazines.

QR Codes cannot only help you with promotions, but also help curb the issue of wrong medication and fake medicines.

In Jan 2018, researchers at University of Copenhagen developed a new method to produce medicines. They produced a white edible material and used medicine to print a QR Code on it.

On scanning the QR Code, one will get all the information about the medicine. This can potentially help reduce the cases of wrong medication and even fake medicines.

The fact that QR Codes can be of great use has been acknowledged by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). They issued guidelines to pharmaceutical companies who wish to add a QR Code on to packaging. Or even on package leaflet of centrally authorised medicinal products.

Top 8 Highlights from the EMA Guidelines

Given below are the top 8 highlights from the guidelines:

1. Pharma companies can add a QR Code to the packaging material or package leaflet of centrally authorised medicinal products as long as the linked information is useful to the patient and not promotional in any way

2. Pharma companies should inform the EMA of their intention to use QR Codes via a request, which can be made as part of the initial marketing authorisation application (pre-authorisation) or after authorising the medicinal product

3. A complete request/declaration form needs to be submitted to the EMA along with relevant information such as linked content, labelling mock-ups, and location of the QR Code

4. The QR Code can contain any information that is relevant to the patient and the product, and can be in the form of a website, webpage, PDF document, video, or link to a mobile app. The information in the QR Code cannot be promotional

5. The information linked with the QR Code should be ‘additional’ information to patients and health care professionals. Also, it should not replace important statutory information such as the printed package leaflet

6. The location of the QR Code should not affect the readability of statutory information. Inclusion of several QR Codes on a single package in not recommended

7. The QR Code should be available in all the Member States where marketing of the medicinal product is done. And the information should be available in all the EU official languages of those Member States

8. Patients should have the option of either scanning a QR Code via a smartphone or entering a  short URL in a web browser

How to get started?

You will need a QR Code Management tool to generate and manage the QR Codes for packaging or package leaflet of medicinal products.

A professional QR Code Management tool such as Scanova can help you:

  • Integrate QR Code generation with your labelling design software to dynamically generate QR Code with varying content
  • Generate short URLs for each URL and programmatically display the URL below the QR Code
  • Generate highly scannable QR Codes which will be scannable even if there is somewhat wear and tear of the label/packaging
  • Track QR Code scanning activity to assess the engagement levels of patients with product packaging or information provided
  • Create custom designed QR Codes that are attractive and differentiated from standard barcodes

Try Scanova now. Create a free-trial account today!

 

Gautam Garg is a Co-founder and the CEO of Scanova. He is a QR Code enthusiast and a big fan of inbound marketing, CRO, and usability. When taking a break, he likes to go trekking and eat spicy food.

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