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Téva Santé Secures Online Pharmaceutical Ordering Application with BIG-IP ASM

PharmaML is a new protocol aimed at standardizing stock management processes in France’s pharmaceutical industry. TEVA Santé, one of the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world, recognized that the new standard presented data security issues. The company began a major IT project focused on addressing these issues while still ensuring reliability and service levels for the various sales channels. By implementing F5 BIG-IP Application Security Manager, TEVA Santé has been able to secure its online ordering system, maintain high availability, and achieve regulatory compliance in the face of changing competitive needs and industry standards.

Business Challenges


The adoption of the PharmaML protocol has revolutionized the order transmission process for pharmacies in France. Pharmacists can check on the real-time availability of a product, place a sales order, and react more quickly to health or sales alerts. Pharmacists select one of the ordering networks that are available according to their sale volumes. TEVA Santé migrated its ordering application to meet the new standard.

“Our goal is to operate on all existing sales channels and provide optimum service quality,” said Frédéric Navarro, IT Infrastructure Manager at TEVA Santé. “This requires greater access to information, an efficient supply chain, and a reliable application.”

The PharmaML standard solves communication issues between the pharmacies and laboratories/wholesale distributors, but the protocol does not ensure security at the server level. While the pharmacist’s system may be secure, the server that handles the transmission of sensitive data, such as inventory, price lists, and customer information, may not be protected from threats.

“This new process should free pharmacists from the constraints inherent in telephone ordering and accelerate order delivery,” said Navarro. “This is why we wanted to set up an infrastructure able to anticipate threats, ensure total availability, and guarantee data integrity and protection.”

“[BIG-IP ASM] ensures the applications are completely secure and protects them against denial-of-service attacks, SQL injections, and emerging attack methods.” Frédéric Navarro, IT Infrastructure Manager, TEVA Santé



TEVA Santé’s first step was to find an existing technology to secure its online ordering application. Working with DCI, a leading French systems integration company, TEVA Santé evaluated two technology proposals. They selected F5 BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) because it provides application optimization, accessibility, and availability while ensuring overall data integrity.

TEVA Santé installed BIG-IP ASM in front of the server, where it analyzes requests from pharmacists’ client software and monitors both inbound and outbound application traffic. It then detects potential anomalies (including attacks), ensures valid input, and instantly adjusts security levels as needed.



“BIG-IP ASM’s XML-integrated firewall makes security checks easier, so we don’t need to write code or deploy a localized XML security fix to ensure interoperability,” said Navarro.  “The solution ensures the applications are completely secure and protects them against denial-of-service attacks, SQL injections, emerging attack methods, and so on.”

With BIG-IP ASM, TEVA Santé can comprehensively and transparently manage its multi-layered ordering application. This helps the company easily define “good traffic,” make application access secure, and ensure service reliability.

‘With F5, businesses have one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market.  What is unique is the way it includes application security and traffic optimization on a single box,” commented Nicolas Monier, Consultancy Services Manager at DCI. “With its rich functionality and ease of use, BIG-IP ASM is the ideal solution for businesses that want to expand their application infrastructure to encompass new technologies. In the healthcare vertical, where reforms have a deep impact on IT systems, F5 solutions help organizations achieve regulatory compliance while ensuring that applications can evolve with competitive or customer needs.”