About EPC in the Healthcare Industry
How is EPCglobal participating?
Pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors as well as retail pharmacy chains are working with EPCglobal US to develop standards for EPC technologies to form the basis of a universal track-and-trace system that would comply with the United States Food and Drug Administration’s request to secure this critical supply chain.
The EPCglobal Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Action Group is charged with supporting members as they comply with pedigree laws worldwide. Participation includes key industry groups such as the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and others.
EPCglobal is working with industry to address critical needs:
- Pedigree Management (including a Pedigree Messaging Standard)
- Air Interface Standard for item level tagging
- Serialization (the format of the EPC on the tag)
- Decommissioning of tags
- Network Security
How does EPC Technology secure the pharmaceutical supply chain?
Using EPC-based RFID to improve pharmaceutical pedigrees will allow wholesalers and retailers to rapidly identify, quarantine and report suspected counterfeit drugs, a significant global issue.
EPC technology can read and authenticate shipments with no “line of sight” needed, identifying expired items without handling them and thus reducing the risk for error or diversion.
Presently, EPC tags are being used in the pharmaceutical supply chain to help ensure the safe and secure delivery of pharmaceutical products from the point of manufacture to the pharmacy.
Why is it important to fight pharmaceutical counterfeiting now?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10 percent of worldwide trade
in pharmaceuticals is counterfeit.
The Centre for Medicines in the Public Interest says counterfeit drug sales will likely total $75 billion in 2010, an increase of more than 90 percent from 2005 levels.