An award for innovation has been awarded to Sigma’s managing director Bharat Shah by the Pharmaceutical Industry Network Group (PING), for the design and assembly of a new picking/packing warehouse development in Watford that is due to go operational in September. The company's new processes will be compliant with the requirements of the Falsified Medicines Directive, which come into effect in 2019.
The entire warehouse is a 'state of the art' installation by an Austrian warehouse/factory conveyor specialist company. Once installation is complete, the final individual packing lines will have a conveyor system module with a camera recording attachment that will pick up all 2D barcode scans. This technology will also batch record the scanned information and simultaneously transmit the same to the UK repository. Sigma has invested around £3 million in the project.
The annual PING Innovation Award award recognises innovation and excellence in the pharmaceutical and life sciences supply chain. Founder and chair of the group, Paul Gershlick, also a partner at the law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards, presented the award at the organisation’s recent conference. This year’s theme for the PING seminar focused on FMD (Falsified Medicines Directive) and how businesses need to adapt to and prepare for the upcoming changes.
Sigma’s managing director Bharat Shah said: “As a wholesaler to the independent sector, we take service delivery and compliance issues very seriously, hence the substantial investment into FMD integration in our new plant. This new way of delivering medicines and drugs is designed to make life easier for pharmacists and to make tracking and accountability a daily routine.”
In a recent inspection by the MHRA, to sign off Sigma’s new premises as fit for purpose, they were "highly commended" for including this Directive into Sigma's mainstream operation.
Mr Gershlick commented: "Sigma won the PING Innovation Award this year due to its new site being the first of its kind in Britain to merge FMD standards into the operation. The Directive will come into force in February 2019 and Sigma is already implementing this standard as 'normal' from the launch date."