Friday, June 29, 2007

Pfizer questions RFID

At this year's HDMA DMC meeting, I was pleasantly surprised by how many manufacturers and wholesalers actively read this blog. I got a lot of questions about my RFID posts: RFID Un-Hype and More RFID Un-Hype.

One individual vehemently argued that Pfizer's RFID trial "proves" the viability of RFID technology for the pharmacy supply chain. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, he worked for a technology vendor.)

Therefore, I was especially interested in a just-published interview with John Theriault, Pfizer's vice president of global security. (See Pfizer security exec offers status report on counterfeiting - note that this link is only free for 14 days.) Check out these statements:
  • "RFID is a long way from being deployable. It's very expensive and, for it to work, you have to have the technology deployed at every point along the supply chain."
  • "As long as repackaging is legal in the United States and actually encouraged in the E.U., whatever anti-tampering or anti-counterfeiting placed on the packaging is lost as soon as it changes hands."
  • "The technology solution is not a solution. It's an interesting area to explore, but I don't see it solving the counterfeit problem any time soon."
'nuff said.


  1. AnonymousJune 29, 2007

    I couldn't agree with John more with respect to RFID and mass serialization in general. It is a logistics platform looking to solve a business problem that, by itself, it cannot solve.

    On the other hand, there are ways to point to increased RISK within the supply chain that can lead to measures (both civil, contractual and criminal) that can have an impact on the actors within the supply chain.

  2. AnonymousJune 29, 2007

    Adam, thanks for moving the debate forward. A minority of us have questioned RFID as a viable solution (in the foreseeable future)and are glad someone is getting the word out.