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RFID Market to Exceed $14 billion in Life Sciences

A new study shows that e-pedigrees, tracking and tracing biospecimens, electronic data capture of clinical information and other applications will drive growth over the next three years.
By Beth Bacheldor
Sep 04, 2006There's a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for RFID in the life-sciences market, according to a new report released by Health Industry Insights, an IDC company in Framingham, Mass., that provides market research and consulting services to the health-care industry.

The study, conducted during a five-month period, leveraged global economic data, in-depth interviews with major health-care, pharmaceutical and bio-sciences companies, and economic surveys that Health Industry Insights conducts quarterly. The key finding: the growth opportunity for the total life science RFID market size is estimated to be $9.7 billion today, and is expected to exceed $14.8 billion by 2009.

Eric Newmark
The study identifies eight major applications for the use of RFID technology, including the tracking and tracing of biospecimens; electronic data capture of clinical information; the tracking and tracing of batch and process analytics; the management and replenishment of biospecimen samples; the tracking and tracing of demand-driven supply chains; the creation of electronic pedigrees, or e-pedigrees, to help improve drug safety and fight drug counterfeiting; the management of assets and equipment; and the management of employee access and identities. It also breaks out segments by technology (application software, HF and UHF tags, implementation services, middleware, outsourcing, readers, RFID network equipment and RFID printers) and geographical regions.

The greatest opportunity lies in e-pedigrees and drug safety, according to Eric Newmark, senior research analyst at Health Industry Insights and author of the study. E-pedigrees can document each move a drug makes as it traverses the supply chain, providing the name of the manufacturer, type of drug, manufacturing lot number, and other information. According to the Health Industry Insights report, if pharmaceutical companies put RFID tags on every drug today, the total market size would be $8.8 billion market. By the end of 2009, that figure would jump to $12.3 billion.

The next largest-sized market is the use of RFID to track and trace pallets and cases in the life sciences industry, at $272 million. Newmark says that market will be worth $957 million in five years. In third place is the use of RFID to manage and replenish samples, a market that today is sized at $264 million. By the end of 2009, it will be a $572 million market.

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