Pharmaceutical Industry Group Concludes First Phase of EPC/RFID Tests; Technology Could Improve Security, Expedite Recalls, Help Industry Meet Regulatory Requirements
Results Shared With FDA, Industry
BALTIMORE, MD; September 28, 2004 – Accenture today announced results from tests run by a group of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and retailers exploring the application of electronic product code (EPC) and radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies across the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Findings, based on shipping, tracking and tracing nearly 13,500 packages of pharmaceuticals over an eight week period, show that EPC/RFID can help satisfy regulatory and retailer requirements, increase product security and consumer safety, enhance order accuracy and labor productivity and increase the efficiency and speed of recalls and returns. These tests were confined solely within the supply chain and did not involve testing at the consumer level.
Participants included Abbott Laboratories, Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cardinal Health, CVS Pharmacy, Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and Rite Aid. Accenture served as program manager.
“The pioneering nature of this project and its participants has helped the industry make a huge leap toward realizing the benefits of this technology,” said Jamie Hintlian, a partner in Accenture’s Health & Life Sciences practice. “By making crucial connections both within organizations and across the industry, we’re creating innovative approaches to address key issues such as counterfeiting and supply chain visibility.”
The group also worked with the FDA’s Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force on how RFID/EPC technologies can mitigate the risk of counterfeit drugs making it to market.
“Combating counterfeit drugs is a high priority of the FDA,” noted Paul Rudolph, FDA. “We’re encouraged to see this cross-industry group show such strong commitment to working together to use RFID technology to improve the integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain.”
The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) and National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) participated in the group and provided their members with information and education-related opportunities.
Matrics (which has since been acquired by Symbol Technologies), Manhattan Associates and Dell supported the group with technology. Matrics supplied tags, readers and antennas. Manhattan Associates provided its RFID Integration Manager middleware, as well as its EPC Manager, Warehouse Management, and Trading Partner Management solutions. These solutions were hosted by Accenture on Dell PowerEdge servers.
Michael Swenson, industry analyst at IDC’s Life Science Insights comments that "this proof-of-concept study by multiple participants throughout the supply chain is an important step in preparing for future use of RFID technology in the pharmaceutical industry. While confirming many of the expectations about increased visibility into the supply chain, the project also highlighted technical and organizational issues that will need to be solved by RFID vendors working closely with the pharmaceutical supply chain partners, regulatory agencies, and systems integrators who will design, install and support these complex systems."
A second phase of the project will further explore the business value of RFID within the pharmaceutical supply chain. New companies such as Merck, Novartis, Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc., Walgreen’s and Wyeth have joined the group and will participate in the next phase.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 100,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$11.8 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2003. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
About Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 55,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott’s news releases and other information are available on the company’s Web site at www.abbott.com
About Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc and its subsidiaries currently manufacture and distribute more than 100 different dosage forms and strengths of pharmaceutical products in core therapeutic categories. A research-intensive pharmaceutical company, Barr’s product line is concentrated primarily in the oncology, female healthcare (including hormone therapy and oral contraceptives), cardiovascular, anti-infective and psychotherapeutics therapeutic categories.
About Cardinal Health
Cardinal Health is the leading provider of products and services supporting the health care industry. Cardinal Health develops, manufactures, packages and markets products for patient care; develops drug-delivery technologies; distributes pharmaceuticals and medical, surgical and laboratory supplies; and offers consulting and other services that improve quality and efficiency in health care. Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health employs nearly 60,000 people on six continents and produces annual revenues of more than $50 billion. Cardinal Health is ranked No.17on the current Fortune 500 list and named one of the best U.S. companies by Forbes magazine for 2004.
CVS is America’s #1 retail pharmacy, operating over 5,400 retail and specialty pharmacy stores in 36 states and the District of Columbia. With more than 40 years of dynamic growth in the retail pharmacy industry, CVS is committed to being the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use. CVS has created innovative approaches to serve the healthcare needs of all customers through its CVS/pharmacy stores, its online pharmacy, CVS.com and its pharmacy benefit management and specialty pharmacy subsidiary, PharmaCareManagement Services. General information about CVS is available through the Investor Relations portion of the Company’s website, at http://investor.CVS.com.
For more than 125 years, HDMA has worked with members to secure a safe, efficient, and reliable healthcare distribution system that is able to provide life-saving health products and services. HDMA members are responsible for ensuring that billions of units of medication are safely delivered to tens of thousands of retail pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other provider sites in all 50 states in the most efficient manner possible. HDMA members are a vital link in the healthcare system, providing highest-quality solutions that remove costs and empower providers to deliver care more effectively. Through our advocacy activities, HDMA operates at the forefront of healthcare, and ensures that members’ perspectives and businesses are understood and addressed in legislative and regulatory arenas.
About Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson, with approximately 109,100 employees, is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical and medical devices and diagnostics markets. Johnson & Johnson has more than 200 operating companies in 57 countries around the world, selling products in more than 175 countries.
McKesson Corporation is a Fortune 16 healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 170-year history, McKesson has grown to provide pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, visit us at www.mckesson.com
About National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
NACDS represents the nation’s leading retail chain pharmacies and suppliers, helping them better meet the changing needs of their patients and customers. NACDS members operate more than 35,000 pharmacies, employ 120,000 pharmacists, fill more than 2.1 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of over $500 billion. Other members include more than 1000 suppliers of products and services to the chain drug industry. For more information about NACDS, visit www.nacds.org.
Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals and many of the world’s best-known consumer brands. The company’s innovative, value-added products improve the quality of life of people around the world and help them enjoy longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Pfizer has three business segments: health care, animal health and consumer health care. Its products are available in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit us at www.pfizer.com.
About P&G (NYSE:PG)
Two billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Bounty®, Pringles®, Folgers®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Actonel®, Olay® and Clairol Nice ’n Easy®, Head & Shoulders®, and Wella. The P&G community consists of almost 110,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.
About Rite Aid
Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with annual revenues of nearly $16 billion and approximately 3,400 stores in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.
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