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FDA Delays Implementation Of Radiofrequency Identification Standards

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA for the third time extended a compliance policy guide for radiofrequency identification tagging of pharmaceuticals in a bid for more time to implement legislation for ensuring quality control.

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Sam’s Club going electronic

Suppliers of OTC drugs, dietary supplements and other products for Wal-Mart's Sam's Club stores must implement radio-frequency identification on all packages shipped to the chain's distribution centers by October 2010, according to Wal-Mart Media Relations Director John Simley. Wal-Mart informed product suppliers for Sam's Club about the deadline in a January letter. So far, five Sam's Club distribution centers accept pallets of products only with RFID tagging, or an "electronic product code," and the remaining 17 centers will make the change before February 2009. The requirement will be extended to cases and to "selling units" of products contained within pallets during the 12 month-period starting in October this year. EPC labels allow Wal-Mart to cut costs by increasing efficiency for inventory tracking, resulting in more up-to-date stock totals and faster shipping to stores. "That's the reason it exists - to save costs," Simley said in an interview. EPC requirements for Wal-Mart distribution centers also are being implemented, but a timetable is not set for completing the change (1"The Tan Sheet" Oct. 17, 2005, p. 9)...

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