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Pharma to Pioneer Item-level Tracking
The pharmaceutical industry will significantly influence how the RFID industry addresses item-level tracking and high-compliance applications on a global scale.
Oct 23, 2006—There is no doubt about it: The pharmaceutical industry is expected to significantly influence how the RFID industry addresses item-level tracking and high-compliance applications on a global scale. This vertical market is not only expected to set the specifications on using RFID for tracking within high-volume global supply chains, but should also facilitate commercial deployments in other high-growth markets, such as consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and health care.
Due to the high value of pharmaceutical products and the compelling ROI for most communities within the supply chain, Venture Development Corp. (VDC) anticipates that the industry could become the largest RFID vertical within the next two to three years as item-level tracking takes hold.
However, several hurdles must be overcome before full-scale deployments are realized:
Research from VDC's 2006 RFID Business Planning Service indicates that the vast majority of end-user companies (more than 65 percent) in these verticals are waiting on the outcome from the pharmaceutical market before commercially deploying the technology. "Businesses within these verticals sell a significant amount of pharmaceuticals and need to have compatible RFID solutions," states Shan Chu, an RFID analyst at VDC. "Too early deployment of incompatible RFID systems may lead to additional capital investment and integration issues."
There are several reasons why the pharmaceutical market is a perfect incubator for item-level RFID applications:
If item-level tracking is considered to be the Holy Grail for RFID, then the pharmaceutical market is the technology's Sir Gawain.
Drew Nathanson is the AIDC and RFID practice director at Venture Development Corp.
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