Texas Instruments and VeriSign Collaborate on RFID for Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Companies partner in the ongoing battle against counterfeit drugs


Multi-tiered Model for the Problem of Product Counterfeiting and Diversion Product counterfeiting and diversion is a significant problem today, particularly in the pharmaceutical supply chain. This problem threatens corporate revenues, and more importantly, consumer safety. The Authenticated RFID model envisions bringing together a combination of hardware and service- based architecture to provide manufacturers with multiple lines of defense in addressing this issue. The Authenticated RFID model as proposed today has the following features:

* Unique RFID Tags -- The first line of defense in the model is the RFID tag or transponder. During manufacturing, the tag manufacturer "locks" data onto the tag, including a Unique Identification (UID) number and the Product Manufacturer Identifier (PMID) number, to create a secure and unalterable code. * Digital Signing of Tags -- During the product manufacturing process, tag data is digitally "signed" with the product manufacturer's private key and the signature is locked into the tag's memory. The tag is then applied to the product. A digital signature is then used by Authenticated RFID readers to "validate" the tagged pharmaceutical product at the pharmacy or anywhere in the supply chain.

* Supply Chain Event Validation -- As the tagged products move throughout the supply chain, Authenticated RFID readers write chain- of-custody event markers on the tag. An added layer of tag validation is then implemented by comparing the tag event markers to data from full chain-of-custody systems of record in the supply chain. This represents a third line of defense.

This multi-tiered approach to improving chain of custody controls within the pharmaceutical supply chain would provide manufacturers, distributors and retailers with added levels of security that they need to deploy authenticated RFID solutions. For more information on the Texas Instruments and VeriSign collaboration on this non-proprietary, authenticated RFID model, download the white paper, "Securing the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain with RFID and Public- key infrastructure (PKI) Technologies," at http://www.ti.com/rfid/docs/customer/eped-form.shtml .