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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Will Help Companies Transition to Proposed 'ePedigree' Law

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There's a lot of pressure on pharmaceutical manufacturers to be able to track and authenticate the movement of drug products through the supply chain. In California, it's likely that this will become law by 2015.

Writing in Pharmtech, John Danese and Arvindh Balakrishnan observe that the proposed "ePedigree" law "requires manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers to track, trace, and authenticate the entire chain of drug custody. It also requires manufacturers to track their products at the serialized salable-unit level -- a significant change in an industry that has never tracked beyond the lot level."

What's the best way for this industry to address these new requirements? Service oriented architecture, Danese and Balakrishnan say:

"To gain the flexibility and agility necessary for a successful ePedigree initiative, pharmaceutical manufacturers require business applications that are built on an open, standards-based, service-oriented architecture (SOA). The applications must generate, transmit, and authenticate drug-product serial data and electronic pedigrees when pharmaceutical products move within the enterprise and across the supply chain. An SOA-based mass-serialization and pedigree-management application provides a scalable and flexible infrastructure for efficient forward and reverse logistics by integrating with existing back-end transactional systems."
With a service oriented architecture in place, legacy systems will be able to talk to newer "serialized" applications, the authors add. The pharma will also be able to operate business processes across a multi-node network, ensuring protection against disruptions.

This approach will likely be mandated to the pharmas, but offering SOA as a way to better integrate enterprises with their business partners is something that can benefit companies in every industry.

In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

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