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RFID system for pharma use


MeadWestvaco Intelligent Systems has launched a radio frequency identification (RFID) inventory system that enables manufacturers to more accurately monitor drug delivery from production to pharmacy distribution.

The company said that the system aligns with the US Food and Drug Administration's technology recommendations outlined last week as part of its multi-pronged approach to combating counterfeit drugs.

Using the MWVIS system, companies can tag every pharmaceutical package during production, at which point it is confirmed that the correct drug has been packaged. The manufacturer can then monitor the movement of each bottle by tracking the package's RFID tag. Using this technology, the firm can see the packages move within their facilities through delivery to the wholesaler to receipt at retail distribution centres and ultimately, to individual pharmacies where drugs are broken down and dispensed to consumers.

MWVIS, which has been developing its system for more than two years notes that, unlike others that only track at the case or pallet level, its approach can deliver tagging technology to each individual pack. In fact, the system has been successfully tracking item level inventory and sales in the retail environment for eight months in two UK supermarket (Tesco) stores as part of a beta-testing programme.

"This depth of visibility is critical in the pharmaceutical industry because manufacturers may be held liable if a single package is counterfeited or illegally distributed," according to MWVIS.

The company has been collaborating with MeadWestvaco Healthcare Packaging to develop packaging specific for the pharmaceutical and healthcare market that supports electronic tagging and addresses specific issues such as compliance, tamper-evidence and child-resistance.

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