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RFID Authentication in the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Jul 27, 2023
  • RFID
RFID Authentication in the Pharmaceutical Industry

If there is one truth to the world, it is the presence of corruption at different levels of the market & bureaucratic hierarchy. When it comes to manufactured goods, there is always a risk of third parties trying to replicate your products or tamper with the supply chain and replace your good with copies. All of this can lead to customers not getting what they paid for. And in the case of an industry like pharmaceutical, the consequences can be far worse. Many businesses utilize RFID authentication in the pharmaceutical industry’s supply chains.

So, let’s discuss more about the subject.

How Important is Authentication in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Pharmaceutical manufacturing operations are conducted extremely carefully. Each product needs to be processed within very strict regulation boundaries to make sure the end product is viable and safe. Consuming counterfeit drugs can lead to huge health problems and even death.

That is why, the pharma industry invests a lot into ensuring that the products remain unadulterated throughout the supply chain. They often rely on technologies like RFID to ensure the medicines are not tampered with, from the point of manufacture to the retail outfit. Done to recognize counterfeiting, tracking products, and reducing the chances of tampering significantly.

So, let’s check out how this technology is applied in the pharmaceutical industry.

How to Use RFID for Authenticating a Pharmaceutical Supply Chain?

The implementation of RF technology has become very common in product-oriented industries like pharmaceuticals. This technology has several applications in the pharma industry, from major to minor. However, today, we will focus on the three most popular use of RFID in this industry.

(A). Product Tracking

This is one of the primary applications of RF technology in general, i.e., the ability to provide asset identification & tracking capabilities. In the pharmaceutical industry, businesses tag their product packaging with RF inlays/tags. These systems allow businesses to have real-time monitoring and tracking capabilities on their products, throughout the supply chain.

(B). Anti-Tampering Packaging

Another method of utilizing RF technology in this sector is to use it to secure the integrity of the packaging. These tags can be used to create smart packaging solutions. These packings consist of specially designed RF tags, that can alert the users/systems in case the product packages have been tampered with. In addition, these tags cannot be removed safely and replaced, as they are designed in a way where once removed, they become unusable or change their response.

(C). Authentication Tags

Manufacturers use specially encoded tags/labels to help the receivers further down along the supply chain, like warehouses, retail, etc., to check the authenticity of the product. The receivers can use a simple RFID reader to check the authenticity of all the products within seconds.

Benefits of Using RFID for Pharmaceutical Authentication

Now that you know the applications of this technology in the pharmaceutical industry, let’s see why it is so popular. There are some advantages to using RFID in pharmaceutical authentication operations, over alternative means.

(A). Preventing Counterfeiting

With the integration of tracking and tamper prevention functions of the RF systems used in pharmaceutical industries, users can prevent any attempts to counterfeit their products. A standard of authentication that is not replicable by 3rd parties, acts as the best method to counteract counterfeiting.

(B). Inventory Management

Inventory management is an essential task in any kind of business with a physical inventory. Many users are in the habit of conducting manual inventory keeping, some large businesses rely on barcodes. However, with the rise in the volume of products, these older alternatives can be very time-consuming and add to the cost over time. However, with RFID, businesses can completely automate this process. Depending on the size and shape of your facility & operations, these systems can automatically read and record the information in any incoming & outgoing shipment.

(C). Optimize Supply Chain

A supply chain refers to the entire journey a product goes through, from the moment of its inception at the raw supply receiving in the manufacturing plant, to the billing counter in the retail shop. Any successful business needs to have clear visibility over the supply chain operations & a good degree of the ability to track their assets throughout this supply chain. RFID helps make that process far more streamlined than ever before. These tags not only communicate the location of assets in real-time with IoT integration; many modern tags can also collect information like temperature, moisture, etc. This allows users to maximize the shelf life of products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is RFID and its function?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification; it’s a class of AIDC technology that uses radio signals to communicate information and provide asset identification & tracking capabilities.

Q2. What are the three types of RFID?

As mentioned above, RF technology uses radio waves to communicate information & function. On the basis of the frequency of these radio waves, there are three types of RF systems:

•Low Frequency

•High Frequency

•Ultra-High Frequency

Q3. What are the 4 elements of RFID?

Any standard RFID system has four basic components, namely – Tags, Readers, Antennas, and RFID Software.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Jul 27, 2023

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