In an attempt to rid the pharmaceutical industry of fraud, Intelligentz Corp., a subsidiary of Unisone Corp., has introduced its business method combined with Unisone's RFID software and technology to help eliminate counterfeit drugs. Generating a unique code onto individual pills provides a proof of authenticity that cannot be imitated from an outside source. Drugs that do not carry this code will promptly be categorized as counterfeit.
This business method utilizes a unique code, generated by a centralized database, placed visibly on the actual pill and an inventory tracking method throughout the supply chain. The unique codes are assigned to pharmaceutical manufacturers from the database via the internet. The unique codes, which include an RFID tag, are then corresponded with the appropriate bottle, case and pallet to employ the RFID software and technology. The database will continuously update itself as the coded pills move throughout the supply chain.
Counterfeit drugs are part of a growing occurrence of substandard pharmaceuticals. Trade in counterfeit drugs is extremely lucrative and thus very attractive to criminals. Reports from the pharmaceutical industry and government note that detection is becoming more difficult due to the amount of sophisticated counterfeit methods and channels.
An AIT official under the Department of Defense said, "The use of passive RFID (pRFID) can make a significant dent in the estimated $10 billion in counterfeit drugs penetrating our market. The use of the pRFID will enable tracking and tracing of the products across the supply chain and helping to eliminate these counterfeit products."
In addition, this method continuously updates records such as identity of manufacturers, date and time as well as provides a secure process for managing a database. A secured centralized database would only be accessible to authorized users.
"It is our goal to provide the capability for every consumer to verify the origin and authenticity of their prescription drugs as well as improve visibility in the event of recalls," said Michael T. Lucas, CEO of Intelligentz.
AIM Global, an industry organization, has reported that U.S. H.R. 4769 will likely implement chain-of-custody procedures for manufacturers. When the bill is passed, every manufacturer will have to meet requirements such as incorporating the identifier, tracking each pill and also maintaining a database.
RFID technology will advance the pharmaceutical industry to become much more reliable. "Implementing a new technology causes business process reengineering, which in turn can create 'major' changes. If AIT (Automatic Identification Technology) can provide the level of granularity down to the dosage level, pharmaceuticals could be designed for each person. This could also lead to 'customization' at the dosage level. It may also enable the construction of drugs that are designed for a specific purpose," a DOD AIT official added.
Intelligentz has been in discussion with manufacturers and partners about launching a pilot in 2007.
Intelligentz has been in stealth mode since the issuance of parent company Unisone Corp.'s U.S. Patent 6,996,538 back in February 2006. The company's flagship inventory management and RFID automation software enables businesses to tag, track and manage their inventory with real-time monitoring. Inventory businesses become more efficient by providing dynamic visibility up and down the supply chain, there by improving inventory data collaboration.