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Sun Announces RFID Pharma Solution

Sun Microsystems today announced an RFID solution aimed at the pharmaceutical supply chain. Called the Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication, the new offering is a combination of software, hardware, and services.
Nov 14, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

November 14, 2005—Sun Microsystems today announced an RFID solution aimed at the pharmaceutical supply chain. Called the Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication, the new offering is a combination of software, hardware, and services. RFID Update spoke about it with Liz From, Sun's pharmaceutical RFID practice lead.

The pharmaceutical industry is a first-mover with RFID tagging, which is widely considered an effective tool to fight the chronic and expensive problems of drug counterfeiting and other fraud. But the process of implementation is a complex one. "You're changing how the industry does business," said Sun's From. Unlike the CPG space, in which many suppliers under retailer mandates are motivated to deploy RFID only as a compliance measure, there is strong consensus from drug industry players that pharmaceuticals' high per-item value justifies the expense of RFID. "We have a very compelling pain point across the whole industry" that is motivating an adoption of RFID electronic pedigrees, according to From.

Sun means to facilitate the pharmaceutical industry transformation with its new solution, which comes two ways: one for lightweight EPC-based pharmaceutical authentication, and the other comprehensive supply chain-wide pedigree authentication. The former compares EPC data encoded on the RFID tags at the point-of-sale with data in a central repository. The latter employs verification and authentication at every point of the supply chain, from manufacturer to pharmacist.

A number of Sun's existing products compose the solution suite, including Solaris 10 Operating System, Sun Java Enterprise System, Sun Java System RFID Software, and Sun Java System Identity Management Suite. In addition, a number of third-party components play a role in the solution. SupplyScape's E-Pedigree is packaged with it, and Raining Data Corporation's ePharma Application Suite and TigerLogic XML Data Management Server can both be integrated. It is also compatible with TAGSYS' item-level RFID tag and reader technology.

Sun's pharma industry solution is the latest in a suite of RFID offerings from the company whose mantra has been "the network is the computer." Last month the company introduced an asset tracking solution, and in June it announced software for RFID readers and devices. In addition to an ever-increasing portfolio of products, the company is also active in RFID test centers, with one coming online in Busan, Korea, earlier this year.

Read the press release from Sun Microsystems
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