A new standard to help companies that are serializing products using EPC technology to comply with pedigree regulations, such as ones recently enacted in multiple states within the U.S., was ratified on Jan. 11 by EPCglobal. The standards organization based in Brussels ratified the Electronic Pedigree Document specification.
"This effort marks an important step in ensuring trading partners have an interoperable way to exchange document-based pedigrees for pharmaceuticals and other products," said Chris Adcock, president of EPCglobal Inc. "With this standard in place, supply chain participants can begin to comply with document-based pedigree regulations, like the Florida Drug Pedigree Act, without fear of serious interoperability issues."
The EPCglobal standard includes an ePedigree document schema as well as an ePedigree envelope schema that companies can use as a way of holding multiple ePedigrees together in a single document for electronic transmission. Industries currently using paper-based pedigree documents will find this standard a useful tool in the fight against product counterfeiting and for brand protection. The new standard will enable technology providers to create solutions that can provide document interoperability across the supply chain, from manufacturers to wholesalers to retailers.
Looking to the future, the EPCglobal Healthcare and Life Sciences (HLS) Industry Action Group has begun work to define the requirements to develop a full track and trace system based on the EPCIS (EPC Information Services) standard, which is expected in the first quarter of 2007. A full track and trace approach would enable the pedigree information to be shared upstream and downstream, as opposed to the limitation of simply passing it from trading partner to trading partner in one direction only.
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