SecureRF Corporation has announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has extended its grant funding research to develop secure RFID tags for the pharmaceutical industry.
The NSF Small Business Innovation Research grant has funded research by SecureRF to create security protocols for UHF passive tags that will protect prescription drugs. The company is partnering with the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Inc. and a major US pharmaceutical distributor in the development project.
The pharmaceutical industry sees a growing number of counterfeit drug cases each year, and the FDA has encouraged industry leaders to adopt RFID technology to increase safety, making secure RFID solutions a necessity.
“We have found that no one in the pharmaceutical industry has had fruitful discussions about what is needed in an RFID tag from a security perspective,” says SecureRF CEO Louis Parks. “Many people think of securing the pharmaceutical supply chain as encrypting data, when in fact many different security tools should be used in different combinations. The security protocol that is appropriate for particular pharmaceutical applications such as anti-diversion, e-pedigree, track-and-trace and cold chain management will vary and must be balanced against the apparent and real risks.”
A spokesperson for the project predicts its results will also be useful to high-value asset tracking, contactless payment systems, Defense and Homeland Security applications, and Near Field Communications.