Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 14

F E AT U R E

early days, we went from one manufacturer to another,
or metals to read a tag in the middle of a pallet, RFID is not
asking "What can we do for you?" We were involved in
there yet, and unless there's some new physics, it will not be
a number of interesting projects over the next ten or so
there later.
years, and then in the mid-2000s decided to focus on the
For the traceability implementations going on now,
pharma supply chain. This is around 2007-8, when the US
Optel puts an emphasis on its own engineering teams
pharma industry was dealing with the California e-pedigree
to install and start up a system. Why do you think
legislation.
this makes a difference in the market?
With our focus on automation and vision systems, we
When we started developing
saw that we were the most high-tech
m
a
n u f a c t u r i n g a u to m a t i o n
components on a pharmaceutical
systems, we did things like
"Traceability" means, being able
packaging line, and so we felt it
making our own printedwas our natural place to develop
to generate and gather data,
circuit boards. But we quickly
the traceability technology that
and
then
using
mathematics
to
learned that it made more
is now being installed around
sense to acquire components
do something useful with it. The
the world. "Traceability" means,
like cameras, computers and
being able to generate and
near-term goal is compliance
printers from companies that
gather data, and then using
with
the
laws
we
have
now-the
specialize in those technologies,
mathematics to do something
and to specialize ourselves in
useful with it. The near-term
Drug Supply Chain Security
integrating the systems into
goal is compliance with the
Act or the Falsified Medicines
manufacturing.
laws we have now-the Drug
For many years now we have
Directive in Europe, or the other
Supply Chain Security Act or the
been building and implementing
Falsified Medicines Directive in
regulations around the world-
our own systems. It has been
Europe, or the other regulations
but
the
goal
should
be
to
go
important for us to spend a
around the world-but the
lot of time on the factory floor
beyond compliance to connecting
goal should be to go beyond
with customers, to learn what
compliance to connecting with
with the consumer.
their inventory management
the consumer.
problems are and to advance
In the mid-2000s, with
our technology. Serialization and
some decidedly energetic pushing from FDA,
traceability technology has matured in recent years; now
the US pharma supply chain was looking
the value is in the network that can be created across a
closely at the adoption of RFID technology,
supply chain. As a result, we are more open to partnering
which comple me nts or e ve n supe rsedes
with systems integrators and other technology partners.

barcode technology. Did Optel engage with this
technology? Are you looking at it now as some
pharma applications of it still exist?
I was a skeptic at that time, and I still am about the
usefulness of RFID. We did a pilot with the technology
around then, and it was very easy in the case of plastic
bottles with RFID tags on them. The pilot even included
aggregation (gathering item data into packaging cases, and
then the case data into pallets.) But the presence of water
or metal interferes with RFID signals, and between the price
of the tags, and the physical difficulties of penetrating fluids

14 \ Visit our website at www.PharmaceuticalCommerce.com \ 06.2018

Recently, Optel has extended its scope into Level
4 traceability with the acquisition of Verify
Brand. Does the "one-stop shop" aspect of this
decision make a difference to customers, some
of whom prefer a "best of breed" approach to
assembling their overall solution?
There is the marketing position of being a "one-stop
shop" to solve a client's problems, and I understand that
position. Verify Brand stands out as a serialization platform
that reaches all the way to the consumer.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018

Table of Contents
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover1
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover2
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Table of Contents
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 4
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 5
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 6
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 7
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 8
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 9
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 10
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 11
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 12
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 13
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 14
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 15
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 16
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 17
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 18
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 19
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 20
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 21
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Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 31
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Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 33
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 34
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover3
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/201909
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20120304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20120102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20111112
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