There is currently no RFID standard for pharmacy-generated labels, or labeling for IV medication. The pharmaceutical industry is moving toward the adoption of Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards for supply chain tracking, and it is likely that this will become either the de facto or de jure standard for tracking all drugs in many countries.
Very few pharmacies currently employ radio frequency identification, though some trials have been undertaken. As pressure mounts for businesses to collect pedigree data, there will likely be a movement toward a single standard for tracking drugs. In my view, that will have to involve RFID.
I know that some think 2-D bar codes are the answer, but these individuals are not thinking ahead—the cost of scanning every bar code on every drug vial would be enormous. Companies will need an automated way to capture serial numbers to establish a chain of custody, and the only technology that seems viable at this point is RFID.
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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