Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Best Use of RFID in a Service: A Prescription for Spoiled Drugs

DHL is a winner of the first annual RFID Journal Awards. DHL's RFID temperature-monitoring solution gives pharmaceutical companies more control over their distribution process, which could save them millions of dollars.
By Jennifer Zaino
Jun 01, 2007On May 2, 2007, RFID Journal presented the first-ever RFID Journal Awards for outstanding achievement in radio frequency identification technology, at RFID Journal LIVE! 2007, our fifth annual conference and exhibition. DHL was the winner for Best Use of RFID in a Service.

DHL began to develop the Smart Temperature Sensor Project in 2006, when the DHL Innovation Center launched its RFID initiative. It pooled the knowledge of its partners and customers to discover opportunities that have far-reaching benefits for all the parties involved.

DHL, the express and logistics brand of Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN), saw the problem as a challenge—and an opportunity. It developed an RFID- and sensor-based system to provide pharmaceutical companies with real-time visibility into the temperature status of their shipments. "What is important for this new solution is we can react during the transport process, not just after," says Keith Ulrich, director of DPWN's Technology and Innovation Management Group, which manages all projects of the DHL Innovation Initiative, the DHL Innovation Center near Cologne, Germany, and the group's patents.

Pharmaceutical companies can lose millions of dollars if a pallet of drugs is rendered unsuitable for use because temperatures fluctuated out of bounds. And the number of temperature-sensitive drugs is on the rise, thanks to advances in biotechnology and the trend toward more liquid-based drugs that are particularly susceptible to degradation brought on by temperature change. Experts say roughly one-third of all cold chain shipments are related to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

"The other trend affecting the industry is more regulations, especially in the U.S.," says Ulrich. "The U.S. government would like to make sure that the products are from the original producer, and that the products are still working. To have a reliable and controllable new solution, which is also cost efficient [to address all these trends], is very important for the [pharmaceutical] industry."

And for people, adds Ulrich. A medication that hasn't been correctly controlled for temperature through the whole process may be ineffective for the patient who takes it. Worse yet, certain items for which temperature hasn't been controlled or monitored—such as therapeutic proteins used to treat cancer—may even prove dangerous.

DHL's RFID- and sensor-based system tracks the temperature of shipments at various points from departure to arrival and makes that data available to customers in real time over the Web. With access to this information, pharmaceutical companies can, if necessary, recall a shipment and quickly get a replacement underway.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 1,792 words and 4 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations