The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that radio frequency ID-based wireless technologies should form a key weapon in the fight against the manufacture and importation of counterfeit drugs.
The watchdog said that it is bolstering its already stringent regulations by recommending the use of RFID to protect the integrity of the drug manufacturing and distribution process.
Industry analyst firm IDC predicted that, spurred on by the FDA recommendations, RFID adoption will increase rapidly in the pharmaceutical industry over the next three years.
"The adoption and common use of RFID at the case and shipping-pallet level is increasingly likely by 2007, and would help secure the integrity of the drug supply chain," said Richard Dean, programme director of infrastructure integration and support services at IDC.
"Technology is rapidly approaching the state at which pharmaceutical companies can reliably and affordably provide greater assurances that a product was manufactured safely and distributed under conditions that did not compromise its potency or legitimacy."
According to a recently published IDC study, anti-counterfeiting efforts will increasingly rely on RFID technology developed by consulting and integration firms.
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