Acsis Inc., National Label to Deliver RFID for Pharmaceutical Industry

Solution to increase anti-counterfeiting measures and meet Wal-Mart's compliance requirements for Class 2 drug manufacturers

Marlton, NJ — March 1, 2004 — Supply chain and business process automation solutions provider Acsis Inc. today announced a partnership with National Label, a North American printing and converting company, to provide radio frequency identification (RFID) integration, consultation and execution services for pharmaceutical companies.

Sharing vertical market knowledge in the pharmaceutical industry, National Label and Acsis said they would provide RFID labeling solutions to help pharmaceutical companies meet their specific drug tracking needs, including increasing anti-counterfeiting measures, and comply with Wal-Mart's RFID mandate for Class 2 prescription drugs.

Class 2 drugs, defined as addictive painkillers and other prescription narcotics, are stringently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent counterfeiting, contamination and diversion. In February 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report on "Combating Counterfeit Drugs," in which it highlighted RFID tagging as appearing to be "the most promising approach to reliable product tracking and tracing." Wal-Mart is the first retailer to require its suppliers to incorporate RFID technology on Class 2 drugs by April 2004.

Neil Sellars, director of product development and marketing at National Label, said an estimated 30 percent of his company's pharmaceutical labeling business is directly impacted by Wal-Mart's RFID initiatives for Class 2 drugs. "With RFID emerging as one of the best covert track-and-trace methods for a wide range of other pharmaceuticals, we only expect interest surrounding RFID to increase from our customer base and the industry more generally," he said.

Implementing RFID tags at the label level takes on added complexity when affixing tags to prescription drug containers because tags cannot obstruct prescription information but instead must be embedded within labels. This process requires both knowledge of pressure sensitive labeling techniques as well as the technical expertise in RFID necessary to align product and label attributes with the right RFID technology and tag configurations.

Through a network of RFID hardware partners and employing its RFID Expert System as a diagnostic troubleshooting tool, Acsis said it conducts a thorough analysis of product attributes and provides technology recommendations to ensure that a particular tag technology and placement supports the best RF read rates and system integration. Certified in the pharmaceutical industry's cGMP label control program, National Label follows labeling techniques that adhere to FDA and industry guidelines.

"The way pharmaceuticals are tracked and traced through the supply chain will be transformed by the RFID rollout," said Steve Brown, vice president of marketing and business development for Acsis Inc. "Through our partnership with National Label we are able to offer a solution that meets the specific needs and pain points of pharmaceutical companies today and ensures that they have the foundation to capitalize on larger opportunities to leverage RFID for business benefits tomorrow."

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