IBM has unveiled an offering that will allow pharmaceutical companies to create an electronic certificate of authenticity (known as an electronic pedigree or ePedigree) for every drug that passes through the supply chain.
The offering allows all participants in the drug supply chain – manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and hospitals – secure and on-demand access to historical data on individual bottles or packages of medicine.
The ePedigree feature is a key capability of the new version of IBM's WebSphere RFID Information Center (RFIDIC), a high performance data repository that allows clients to efficiently manage and securely share information with trading partners to authenticate pharmaceuticals. The IBM offering was designed to manage and aggregate product serial numbers to enable processes in manufacturing plants, distribution centers, pharmacies and hospitals.
IBM WebSphere RFID Information Center is already being used successfully by AmerisourceBergen, a "big three" pharmaceutical distributor, in its Sacramento pilot, and by a large global pharmaceutical manufacturer. IBM is working closely with its customers in the pharmaceutical industry to enhance the product's capabilities.
ITAIDE, a global e-customs project, is also using WebSphere RFID Information Center to manage serial numbers relating to the global movement of shipping containers.
IBM's ePedigree feature allows clients to comply with new and emerging regulations using either RFID, 2D barcodes, or a combination of barcodes and RFID.
The offering provides a flexible "track and trace" framework for generating ePedigrees through standards-based EPC Information Services. By establishing ePedigree via EPCIS events and queries, clients will also be able to easily access key data elements to solve other business needs such as chargeback resolution and expiration management.
In addition to being fully compatible with the EPCglobal Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard, the product also integrates with customer master data systems to provide additional business context using product, location and supplier information.
Also new to WebSphere RFID Information Center version 1.1 are enhanced reporting tools and alerting capabilities. The reporting feature allows clients to access and analyze data using browser-based reports for faster decision making.
The report data can be used for numerous business needs such as reverse logistics and inventory management. Through the new alerting feature, businesses can rapidly detect supply chain exceptions, such as a late shipment, and generate alerts to the appropriate personnel.