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Cardinal Health's RFID Adoption Expands

Cardinal Health, the $75 billion medical distributor and supplier, yesterday announced that it is moving into the next phase of its end-to-end RFID pilot. It will now begin tagging pharmaceuticals at the item, case, and pallet levels.
May 10, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

May 10, 2006—Cardinal Health, the $75 billion medical distributor and supplier, yesterday announced that it is moving into the next phase of its end-to-end RFID pilot. It will now begin tagging pharmaceuticals at the item, case, and pallet levels.

The company cites the much-touted benefits of curbing the counterfeit of drugs and improved supply chain efficiency as the reasons for its initiative. "The layer of security and the operational efficiencies this technology adds to the pharmaceutical supply chain would benefit drug manufacturers, pharmacists and ultimately consumers," according to Renard Jackson, Cardinal's executive vice president of packaging services. The pilot began in February and is expected to conclude this fall.

The expansion of the pilot will see bottles of both brand-name and generic drugs tagged at the Cardinal Health Printed Components facility in New Jersey. Next, the drugs will be shipped to a packaging facility in Philadelphia, where the tags will be encoded at the item level as well as the case and pallet level. From Philadelphia, the shipment goes to a distribution center in Ohio, which is the first place the RFID data is checked for authenticity. Once authenticated, the pharmaceuticals are sent to their final destination at a receiving health-care provider. The company notes that they do not carry RFID information once dispensed to the end-consumer.

Alien, IBM, and VeriSign are all involved in the pilot. Cardinal Health is also working with Pfizer on the Viagra-tagging pilot (see Pfizer Shipping RFID-tagged Viagra). The other major pharmaceutical pilot announced this year came from GlaxoSmithKline, who is tagging the HIV drug Trizivir (see GlaxoSmithKline Tags HIV Drug).

Read the announcement from Cardinal Health
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