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Acsis, SupplyScape Team for E-Pedigrees

Companies can use the combined solution to manage readers on a production line and seamlessly transmit data to e-pedigree documents.
By Beth Bacheldor
Aug 08, 2007In an effort to help pharmaceutical companies more easily create electronic pedigrees (e-pedigrees)—secure documents that record a drug's progression from the point of manufacture to the pharmacy—SupplyScape and Acsis have integrated their products.

The two companies have joined SupplyScape's E-pedigree application with Acsis' Extended Platform for Device and Data Integration (xDDI) middleware. The middleware is designed to help companies manage all the RFID applicators, readers and other equipment used on a pharmaceutical packaging line, as well as share all RFID and serialization data collected with enterprise resource planning systems (ERP).

SupplyScape and Acsis have been working together informally for some time, and in 2006 began working more closely to tightly link their products. "This is the first end-to-end integration, so this is pretty significant," says Andre Pino, Acsis' VP and chief marketing officer. "SupplyScape is providing the e-pedigree software, and we are providing all the serialization work on the packaging line."

Using the two products together will help pharmaceutical companies prepare for California's looming e-pedigree requirement. Although several states have passed legislation calling for drug pedigrees that can be paper-based, California is the only one with a law requiring drug manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to create e-pedigrees to track and trace all prescription drugs distributed within the state.

Originally, California's e-pedigree legislation was supposed to take effect in January 2007, but the law was pushed back two years and is now scheduled to go into operation in January 2009. But distributors say tagged product must be in the supply chain by mid-2008 if companies plan to use RFID to comply with the e-pedigree requirement.

"All the pharmaceutical manufacturers are now trying to prepare for the California requirement for 2009," says Pino. "The key point of this integration is, with the diverse deployments [Acsis and SupplyScape] have done, we now have the expertise for end-to-end integration of serialized e-pedigrees."

To create a serialized e-pedigree, companies must document unique ID numbers, or serial numbers, for each bottle, case and pallet. Those numbers can then be correlated with other information, such as the manufacturer, the batch number, other companies that handle the drugs and so forth.

Cardinal Health and other firms have been testing RFID and e-pedigrees. Cardinal is tagging individual bottles of drugs it receives from manufacturers with passive RFID tags, the serial numbers of which are used to update each item's e-pedigree (see Cardinal Health Deploying Drug E-Pedigree System).

Acsis and Supplyscape are not jointly marketing or selling their integrated software (both products are available now), but Pino says they will support each other's efforts. "We have not gone as far as to say this is a formalized packaged solution, but we work very closely together," he explains. "SupplyScape will tell its customers that it has worked very closely with Acsis, and likewise, we will do the same."
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