From Bar Codes to Chips & Antennas


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Product Description

Pharmaceutical companies are now testing the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies, which hold the potential for protecting the patient, protecting the brand, and strengthening the supply chain.
New applications of a not-so-new technology are about to completely change how the pharmaceutical supply chain is managed. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies will give current track-and-trace methods a powerful boost and lead to a wireless supply chain system that is more efficient and effective.
RFID involves the placement of small electromagnetic chips on cartons, pallets, and individual product labels. This allows manufacturers and wholesalers to track products more closely than ever before as they move throughout the distribution process.
RFID is fairly new in the pharmaceutical industry, but it is not a new technology. Toll booths (E-ZPass) and gas stations (Mobil’s Speedpass) have been using this technology for some time. Consumer packaged goods manufacturers are responding to a mandate issued by Wal-Mart, which requires the retailer’s largest 100 suppliers, as well as manufacturers of Schedule II drugs, to ship RFID-labeled pallets and cases to some of its distribution centers.

The Case for RFID
Sound Bites from the Field

Experts on this Topic
Sujeet Chand. Chief Technology Officer, Rockwell Automation Inc., Milwaukee; Rockwell Automation is a global provider of industrial automation power, control, and information solutions that help customers meet their manufacturing productivity objectives. For more information, visit
Janice Chiu-Kikta. Partner, Life Sciences Practice, IBM Business Consulting Services, Irvine, Calif.; IBM Business Consulting Services provides business process and industry expertise and the ability to translate that expertise into integrated, adaptive, on-demand business solutions. For more information, visit
Liz Churchill. Director, Industry Solutions-Life Sciences, Symbol Technologies Inc., Rockville, Md.; Symbol Technologies offers products and solutions that capture, move, and manage information in real time to and from the point of business activity. For more information, visit
Aaron Graham. VP and Chief Security Officer, Purdue Pharma L.P., Stamford, Conn.; Purdue is engaged in the research, development, production, and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and hospital products. For more information, visit
R. T. (Terry) Hisey. VP and Life Science Industry Leader, North American Consulting Services, and Global Life Science Supply Chain Leader, Capgemini, New York; Capgemini is a provider of consulting, technology, and outsourcing services. For more information, visit
Christopher Holt. VP, Healthcare, UPS Supply Chain Solutions Consulting Services, Alpharetta, Ga.; UPS Supply Chain Solutions has resources to manage every aspect of global supply chains, from transportation management to logistics and distribution to customs brokerage and international trade services. For more information, visit
Surajiet Khanna. Director, Process Engineering and Quality, Intrasphere Technologies Inc., New York; Intrasphere Technologies is a technology consulting firm with a core focus on life sciences. For more information, visit
Don McMillan. VP of Marketing, Americas, West Pharmaceutical Services Inc., Lionville, Pa.; West Pharmaceutical Services is a manufacturer of components and systems for injectable drug delivery, including stoppers and seals for vials and closures and disposable components used in syringe, intravenous, and blood- collection systems. For more information, visit
Todd Skrinar. Partner in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice, Unisys Corp., Blue Bell, Pa.; Unisys is a worldwide information technology services and solutions company. For more information, visit
Michael Webster. Director of Life Sciences, Ross Systems Inc., Atlanta; Ross Systems offers Internet-architect solutions in a comprehensive, modular suite that spans the enterprise, from manufacturing, financials, and supply-chain management to customer relationship management, performance management, and regulatory compliance. For more information, visit