Drug Pedigree Software Products Earn EPCglobal Certification

By Beth Bacheldor

The standards organization has determined that products from Axway, rfXcel and SupplyScape comply with its standard for software designed to document a drug's movement through distribution channels.

Standards organization EPCglobal has certified three vendors' electronic pedigree (e-pedigree) software products, which document the chain of custody for pharmaceuticals moving through distribution channels. This designation signifies that the software complies with EPCglobal's drug pedigree specification.

The products certified consist of Axway's Synchrony ePedigree solution, rfXcel's Active ePedigree Management product and SupplyScape's E-Pedigree data management solution.

Ratified in January (see EPCglobal Ratifies E-Pedigree Standard), the drug pedigree standard provides the pharmaceutical industry with a common format supply chain partners can use to collect pedigree information, Pedigree solution providers can build their pedigree software offerings based on this standard.

Each product underwent tests conducted by MET Laboratories, a third-party testing facility located in Baltimore. Upon passing the testing, the software products received a certification mark in the form of the EPCglobal logo and an 18-digit Global Service Relation Number (GSRN) unique to each specific software product.

SupplyScape's Peter Spellman, senior VP of products and services, says the certification gives pharmaceutical companies and their distributors and customers—such as pharmacies—assurance that e-pedigree systems will work together. "Even though this wasn't an interoperability test, you will have interoperability," Spellman says. "What this will do is ensure customers of all vendors who get their e-pedigree software certified that they will be able to exchange information with other participants in the supply chain."

Interoperability is particularly important when the software in question is basically designed to share information among a number of different trading partners. In fact, one of Axway's customers, drug distributor McKesson, worked closely with Axway during the development of EPCglobal's drug specification, says Paul Fowler, Axway's VP of health-care strategies. "Customers like McKesson have to deal with thousands of different trading partners," he says, "and their main interested in driving standards is for interoperability."

All three vendors—Axway, rfXcel and SupplyScape—collaborated with EPCglobal during the standard's evolution. Their products supported earlier drafts of the standard, and thus required only minor changes to support the final specification and be ready for conformance testing.

Customers using software based on an earlier version of the specification will require a simple software upgrade, provided free of charge. SupplyScape offers its software as a hosted service, so an upgrade can occur in minutes. "It is a pretty simple software upgrade that probably won't even take five minutes," says Spellman.