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RFID Technologies >> Representative Applications >> Drug Pedigree
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Reltronics Technologies having the expertise in delivering complex solutions in healthcare sector for several years, has put its best foot forward in Drug Pedigree related solutions using RFID. Drug counterfeiting has become one of the top concerns for the pharmaceutical industry and is costing an estimated $46 billion a year in lost profits worldwide. In addition, thousands of people worldwide die every year from ingesting fake drugs. Medicines that are counterfeit may not help the condition the medicine was intended to treat and may lead to dangerous side effects as they can be contaminated or contain the wrong or no active ingredient. In the United States, drug counterfeiting has been relatively rare, but the practice has increased in recent years.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is convinced that radio frequency identification based wireless technologies should workout as an effective means to fight drug counterfeiting. For more than two years, the FDA’s Counterfeit Drug Task Force has been investigating RFID technology and the concept of an electronic pedigree (e-pedigree), a procedure that records where a drug is manufactured and how it is distributed.

The adoption and common use of RFID at the case and shipping-pallet level helps secure the integrity of the drug supply chain. As a result, the pharmaceutical companies can reliably provide greater assurances that a product was manufactured and distributed safely. Many of the top ten drug manufacturers have either deployed radio frequency identification (RFID) projects, or are in the process.

The drug pedigree system employs a technology which is expected to authenticate medicines as legitimate throughout the supply chain. The system uses Radio Frequency Identification to match each medication container with its corresponding pedigree. During manufacture, or at any time prior to distribution, RFID tags can have a randomly generated code written to a chip or an already embedded code used to identify products. This code is unique to a product at one or multiple levels of packaging. It is stored along with related data in an associated database and is thereby available for authentication.

A worker at each stop would scan the product, confirm receipt, and create a digital record of this transaction. When the drug arrives at stores, ready for sale to consumers, a complete record of its distribution would have been created and stored. Open-standards recommendations are being considered to streamline the creation and exchange of electronic pedigrees among trading partners.

Industry leaders are currently seeing the value of RFID in the following areas:

  • Fine-grained Inventory Management (expiry-date management based on the environmental effects on the active ingredients).

  • Improved blocking to Counterfeiting.

  • Better control over Drug Recalls.

  • Improved tracking of products during diversions.

The EPC has suggested the following as Drug Pedigree Requirements:

Name of Drug

Strength of Dosage

Size of Container

Control Number

Lot Number

Name of Business

Address of Business

Date of Manufacture

Date of Expiration

Date of Transaction

Physical Location (if different from owner of prescription)

Some of the Drug Pedigree projects underway have already been initiated by Pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, Purdue Pharma and GlaxoSmithKline. Apart from drug authentication, RFID implementation can speed up logistics, decrease time lost due to manual recording and save labor.

How Reltronics Technologies can assist :

Reltronics Technologies specializes in Security Software and Tracking Solutions. Appropriate team members can be assigned who can provide expertise in manufacturing, deploying, and monitoring Security Software & Tracking systems. The team can assist in integrating systems which involve technologies such as radio frequency identification, GPS, wireless technologies, critical condition monitoring, intrusion, access control, RFID, data encryption, closed circuit television (CCTV), and electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems. The experience that Reltronics Technologies has garnered in deploying numerous security software systems, including GPS and wireless based automated vehicle location systems, asset management systems, record management systems, automated content management systems, and automated sensor systems, can easily be translated to meet any requirement in the Security Software and Tracking arena. Reltronics Technologies has and continues to add value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, and dealers that enable implementation of Security Software & Tracking Systems worldwide. For further information, contact us via email at