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Avery Dennison, Kit Check Team Up on RFID Technology for Big Pharma

The partnership is aimed at helping pharmaceutical companies easily create a system to deploy RFID tags that are built into their medication labels, thereby enabling the tracking of each product from the point of manufacture until after it arrives at a hospital.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 02, 2019

Drug makers have begun planning or implementing RFID tagging solutions to enable the tracking of their products from manufacture to hospital use. To address their need for seamless, global solutions, Kit Check and Avery Dennison have teamed up to provide a solution aimed at making that process easier. Avery Dennison is selling passive UHF RFID tags designed and developed with Kit Check to operate effectively when applied directly to a vial or syringe. The two companies will provide drug manufacturers with turnkey solutions that include assistance for label conversion, infrastructure deployment and integration with Kit Check's software platform.

The solution was designed to help drug manufacturers and contract manufacturing organizations meet the needs of hospital customers that request that tags be attached at the point of manufacture. Drug companies must meet the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) mandate dictated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means the RFID labelling must meet CGMP requirements. The solution from Kit Check and Avery Dennison is intended to ensure those requirements are met.

Kit Check's Kevin MacDonald
Most drug compounders are already using RFID, and large manufacturers are now potentially ready to follow suit. In some cases, their customers—hospitals—are using the Kit Check system in-house to track medications and expiration dates, and have asked for the medicines to be tagged at the source.

Kit Check has been working with Avery Dennison for several years, says Kevin MacDonald, Kit Check's co-founder and CEO. "One of the challenges in pharma is we're dealing with tons of liquids and very high density," MacDonald states. The firm had found that there were no other tags on the market that could operate within such environments. Together, the technology companies have developed a tag that operates well when incorporated into the label of a liquid medication, both in a factory and in a hospital kit, using Kit Check's RFID-enabled Automated Medication Tray Management system.

Until now, Avery Dennison has simply worked with Kit Check to design tags for particular use cases, according to DJ Lee, the director of Avery Dennison's global RFID channel. "Our main support for them has been designing the product," he says. "The quality design of the product has to work in a lot of different environments." Flexibility was key, so that the tag could be read whether at the factory or in a hospital, on any size medication. "We had to go through a lot of iterative work with Kit Check and their customers," Lee recalls, in order to create the tag now in use.

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