IBM said on Friday it has developed technology to help drug distributors, manufacturers and retailers prevent counterfeit drugs from making their way into the market.
The product works using an existing technology: radio frequency identification devices (RFID) that each have a unique ID transmitted via tiny radio antennas incorporated into a drug’s packaging.
Computer receivers pick up the data at various transit points in the drug distribution channel, making it easy to track a package’s location and also update inventory records.
International Business Machines Corp. said that its new technology provides a framework that allows retailers and distributors to communicate with manufacturers over secure networks, allowing them to confirm that each package is authentic and not a counterfeit that somehow made its way into the supply chain.
The Armonk, New York, computer company said that it has sold the technology to two large drug wholesalers — AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc..
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline Plc has said it is working with IBM on the RFID project.
IBM said it is also testing the product with several drug large retailers, though the computer company declined to identify them by name.
|copyright © 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.|