Pharmaceutical products are subject to specific conservation and safety requirements which condition pharmaceutical logistics (traceability, temperature control or cold chain, documentary system, anti-counterfeiting system, location, personalization, etc.). In addition, in the transport and storage of medicines, various Health and Safety Directives must be complied with, depending on the geographical area or areas involved, and types of medication.
In this article, we will show the main specific needs of pharmaceutical logistics that covers RFID technology.
Avoiding the counterfeiting of medicines
We lived in the era of counterfeits, there is no design or packaging that can not be falsified. In the pharmaceutical industry, this problem also exists, with the aggravating circumstance that the consequences of consuming a counterfeit medicine could be dramatic. In contrast, when a drug is labelled with an RFID tag, the laboratory’s source coding system prevents the counterfeit, since the RFID tag has a unique number in its memory to identify that unique container. That number stored on the label not only identifies a single container, it also includes it in a batch, in a recipe and in a patent and a trademark.
Labelling of personalized medicines
Medicine is increasingly delving into the effectiveness of personalized treatments, as the most effective method to cure the same disease in different patients. For example, a specific type of cancer needs significantly different strategies depending on the history of each patient. For this type of personalized medications, RFID tagging avoids errors while facilitating storage, transport and generation of documentation. Thanks to a well-implanted RFID system, these medications are perfectly controlled.
Control of medication for hospitalized patients
On the other hand, a patient labelled with RFID through to the hospital bracelet, with which they identify him when he is admitted, is a patient who carries with him all his history, medication treatment and all his information. In this way, many errors in the medication are avoided.
Location of lots for removal
When a particular lot must be removed from the distribution, if the pharmaceutical products are marked with RFID tags for pharmaceutical logistics, it is very easy to locate all the items in the same lot for withdrawal from the pharmaceutical supply chain.
How drugs are labelled with RFID
The RFID tags can be placed on medicine containers in different ways. One way can be the insertion in the bottle container by injection. Another can be the label sticked to the pot or box. A third option may be to attach it as a flag to the bottle or tube. In this context, the important thing is the RFID tag is well subjected to the product in a very robust way so that it does not be missed during transport and storage.