AmeriSource Bergen Using RFID to Track Real-time Use of High-value Medicines

Sirit partners with VendingTechnology and Scopra to deliver UHF item-level tracking solution

Sirit partners with VendingTechnology and Scopra to deliver UHF item-level tracking solution

Las Vegas — May 9, 2006 — ASD Healthcare is using an item-level radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking solution developed by a trio of enablers to monitor and track consigned inventory at hospitals.

Radio frequency identification specialist Sirit Inc. has partnered with VendingTechnology and Scopra Inc. to deliver the customized UHF RFID item-level tracking solution for the pharmaceutical industry. VendingTechnology is a developer of item-level transaction and dispensing solutions, and Scopra is a developer of enterprise software.

The joint solution incorporates Sirit's UHF reader technology, VendingTechnology's engineering solutions and Scopra's software designed for application and network management of RFID-enabled devices.

Tracking Pharma

ASD Healthcare (ASD), a division of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, among the world's largest pharmaceutical distributors, is using the solution to monitor and track pharmaceuticals within hospitals.

Initially, ASD, in collaboration with VendingTechnology, devised the consignment program to allow hospitals access to high-value hemophiliac medicines otherwise unavailable due to their high inventory cost. VendingTechnology approached Sirit to deliver an RFID-reader for the heart of the specialized refrigeration unit known as CUBIXX, which acts as the consignment device, and enlisted Scopra to deliver the software comprising the entire application.

When the medicine is removed from the unit for administration to the patient, the reader senses the specific medication removal and triggers the Scopra-based real-time billing and inventory management processes for completion.

The "Power of Now" for Inventory Control

"We believe that the results of this partnership will become the foundation of new and specialized distribution practices outside the current 'just in time' methods used today," said Andrew Fausak, president of VendingTechnology. "RFID technology brings the power of now to inventory control and management. Gone are the days of not knowing where something currently is, or in what quantities."

Fausak said that the RFID solution demonstrated with ASD Healthcare could be applied to any instance where real time inventory management is essential. "We believe that RFID can revolutionize the supply chain, driving warehousing literally to the point of sale," he said.

Results of the initial testing, which has seen over 100 units deployed to date, with an additional 60 scheduled by the end of June, have been so successful that ASD plans to use these consignment devices for the majority of their specialty drugs including those used to fight cancer, according to Sirit.

Applications outside Pharma

"It's a tremendous accomplishment to create a solution which can impact people's lives in such a profound way and deliver a proven ROI within months of installation," said Norbert Dawalibi, president and CEO of Sirit Inc. "This is yet another example of the real benefits that RFID technology can deliver, granting access to medicines otherwise not available, and we believe that this is the first of many applications for this important collaborative solution."

Additional applications of the Sirit/VendingTechnology/Scopra solution that are under development outside the pharmaceutical market including a transaction-based RFID dispensing cabinet with programmable and inventory responsive video content and power control to address retail, advertising, inventory-driven-sales and specialty lines.


Additional Articles of Interest

— Contemplating RFID? Here are three critical questions to answer before embarking on a radio frequency identification initiative. Read "Recognizing Real RFID Adoption Potential," in the February/March 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— A recent independent study revealed that Wal-Mart customers are finding the items they wanted in stock more often due to the retailer's use of RFID technologies when compared to control stores. Read more in "Wal-Mart Achieving Improved On-shelf Availability with RFID, Study Finds" on SDCExec.com.


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