Sun Helps Fight Drug Counterfeiting With RFID Technology

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), today announced the availability of the Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication, a combination of software, hardware and services to addresses the specific requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. The Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication helps to combat drug counterfeiting by verifying and certifying the authenticity of drugs using Electronic Product Codes (EPC) or electronic pedigrees across the supply chain.

Available now, a demo of the Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication can be viewed on-site at the RFID Healthcare Industry Adoption Summit, Booth 413.

Drug counterfeiting and diverting (fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs and reselling them) introduce inefficiencies into the supply chain, dilute company brand names, represent enormous costs to pharmaceutical manufacturers and most of all, expose consumers to health risks via counterfeit dispensing. Unlike packaged goods, pharmaceutical drugs have high market values, unique storage requirements and small unit sizes that make it necessary to track individual bottles or even individual doses. Pharmaceutical companies can use the Sun RFID Drug Authentication Solution to verify a drug package's validity and authenticity as it moves through the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the hands of the consumer at the point-of-sale.

"Introducing the Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication demonstrates Sun's continued commitment to delivering RFID solutions that address the specific requirements of vertical industries. For the pharmaceutical industry, using bar codes to secure the drug supply chain is impractical and inefficient because bar codes have limitations around item level identification and require manual intervention," said Vivek Khandelwal, principal RFID solutions manager for Sun's RFID Business Unit. "Sun is leveraging our RFID-technology expertise, along with that of third-party companies, to bring drug manufacturers and distributors a solution that helps distinguish legitimate products from counterfeit and helps our customers prevent loss in revenue and maintain drug integrity."

The Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication uses a scalable architecture that helps companies to start with EPC-based drug authentication for initial pilots and then evolve to more complex, pedigree-based drug authentication solutions. The EPC Authentication verifies point-of-sale EPC information, stored in an RFID tag, against a repository of valid codes. The Pedigree Authentication is more secure and complex and requires verification and authentication of each drug item at every step of the drug supply chain.

In addition to helping the pharmaceutical industry curb drug counterfeiting and diverting, Sun's RFID solutions can help healthcare providers reduce medical errors through the tracking of patients, critical medical information and records. Sun's RFID solutions can extend beyond medication tracking to help hospitals monitor instruments and disposables using RFID tagging, automated counting and alarms. Further, RFID tagging can assist hospitals with locating, taking inventory of and re-ordering high value assets in a timely manner, reducing staff search time and improving the timeliness of patient care.

The Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication provides detailed guidelines to help pharmaceutical companies build an end-to-end RFID solution to automate a secure drug supply chain. It is a unique combination of Sun technologies and product components including: Solaris(TM) 10 Operating System, Sun Java(TM) Enterprise System and Sun Java System RFID Software. Sun Java System Identity Management Suite provides identity management and access controls, which help companies control access to shared or distributed data repositories containing EPC or pedigree data. The Sun Java Integration Suite provides an SOA-based platform to provide real-time access to RFID events, as well as a development environment from which to build and deploy composite applications that maximize the vast amount of information available from RFID readers.

The Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication is also packaged with third-party components, such as E-Pedigree applications from Raining Data and SupplyScape, which provide a complete drug security solution along with the capabilities to create, manage and certify pedigree data across the supply chain. This solution also integrates with Raining Data's Distributed Xquery and TigerLogic XML Data Management solution and VeriSign's Intelligent Supply Chain Services platform, which includes the Object Naming Services (ONS). The Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication has been tested and qualified for compatibility with TAGSYS' item-level RFID tag and reader technology and is also capable of working with many other third-party RFID readers and RFID printers.

"We are pleased to jointly demonstrate the power and flexibility of the Sun RFID Industry Solution for Drug Authentication with Raining Data's Distributed XQuery and Tigerlogic XML Data Management solutions," said Ajay Ramachandran, vice president, general manager -- Enterprise Applications Group at Raining Data. "Raining Data's comprehensive ePharma solution framework helps customers not only addresses state specific pedigree compliance requirements, but also other issues such as: returns, recall, diversion and anti-counterfeiting. Our ePharma solution enables enterprises to leverage their RFID investments and delivers a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)."

"SupplyScape and Sun have collaborated since 2003 on pharma supply chain security solutions to combat drug counterfeiting," said Brenda Kelly, vice president of marketing at SupplyScape. "Being selected for inclusion in Sun's drug authentication initiatives enables us to provide a more complete solution for the pharma industry."

"Drug counterfeiting directly impacts consumer safety and is estimated to cost the industry over $35 billion a year," said Elie Simon, CEO of TAGSYS. "While the pharmaceutical sector is proving to be an early adopter of RFID technology, the requirements for reliable, accurate and secure (or R.A.S.) RFID products are also extremely high. As a result of our tests, Sun's customers can be certain that the RFID solution will work seamlessly with the industry's most robust item-level tags and readers that deliver six sigma level reading performance."

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