Stora Enso and Orion are introducing a series of pharmaceuticals packages equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to pharmacies.
Stora Enso's PackAgent software is used to authenticate the products throughout the supply chain. The pharmaceuticals produced by Orion Pharma and distributed by the wholesaler Oriola are sold in selected pharmacies in Finland and Estonia.
"We are using item-level identification and the tags are read at every stage of the supply chain. Our PackAgent software verifies the item ID and uses it for product authentication," says Kirsi Viskari, Manager of Intelligent Solutions at Stora Enso.
The pharmaceutical company Orion Pharma is participating in this trial in anticipation of future requirements. If traceability becomes mandatory in the United States, for example, Orion Pharma will have to add an RFID tag to all their packages sold on that market. At present, tracking is based on the batch number.
The trial covers the whole supply chain
"This pilot project has an exceptional scope as it covers the whole supply chain all the way from the product and packaging manufacture to wholesale and consumer distribution. Realtime tracking and authentication of the products increases the safety, reliability and efficiency of the supply chain," Kirsi Viskari says. The trial is conducted using Orion Pharma's anticoagulant drug Marevan. The packages are manufactured by Jaakkoo-Taara, and the pharmaceuticals are distributed to the pharmacies by the wholesaler Oriola and its Estonian subsidiary.
"For Orion Pharma, the trial is an opportunity to gather experience from the use of RFID technology in tracking deliveries and authenticating products in a commercial environment. We are looking for ways to streamline our logistics operations and co-operation with our suppliers and to put us in a better position to face future challenges as regards the traceability of products. For us, the possibility of integrating the solution into our own business management system is an important advantage," says Markku Huhta-Koivisto from Orion Pharma.
"At Oriola, we think that wholesale has an important role in preventing the entry of counterfeit drugs into the market. We are also seeking experience in using RFID for improved delivery reliability, traceability and internal logistics", say Oriola's Responsible Pharmacist Eija Kinos and Distribution Manager Juhani Jppinen.
Stora Enso develops intelligent packaging
Stora Enso's PackAgent solution is based on the Trackway software developed by Stockway, a Finnish specialist software provider. Stora Enso is working with BearingPoint, Inc. in regard to the sales, delivery and systems integration of the solution. PackAgent is part of Stora Enso's offering of intelligent packaging solutions.
The PackAgent software is compatible with various other identification technologies in addition to RFID, and enables products to be tracked and authenticated at both item and pallet level. PackAgent can also be used to provide consumers an easy way to authenticate products via the Internet.