Radio ID Tags For US Drugs (RFID) (cont.)

An RFID tag is a device for remotely storing and retrieving data. The tag may be a little sticker that can be attached to a medicine bottle (or airplane). The tag contains an antenna that enables it to receive and respond to a radiofrequency "query" from an RFID device called a transceiver.

Most RFID tags do not have their own power supply. The radiofrequency query induces a tiny electrical current in the antenna, permitting the tag to send a brief response, usually just an ID number.

Such RFID tags are quite small. The smallest tags that are now commercially available measure 0.4 0.4 mm and are thinner than a sheet of paper. They start at about $0.40 (40 cents) a tag.

Tag on Viagra

By outfitting drug packages with RFID tags, companies could trace the path the drugs take from the time they are produced to the moment they are dispensed, according to a FDA report in February.

Among the medicines that will get an RFID tag is Viagra (sildenafil). The drug for erectile dysfunction (impotence ED) is one of the most widely counterfeited drugs in the world.

Related MedicineNet Links

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Buying Medicine and Medical Products Online (Health Fact)
  • Medications Center

The following is excerpted from press release P04-103 issued by the FDA on November 15, 2004:

FDA Announces New Initiative to Protect the U.S. Drug Supply Through the Use Of Radiofrequency Identification Technology

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today stepped up its efforts to improve the safety and security of the nation's drug supply through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. FDA launched this effort by publishing a Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) for implementing RFID feasibility studies and pilot programs that are designed to enhance the safety and security of the drug supply. This action continues FDA's commitment to promote the use of RFID by the U.S. drug supply chain by 2007.

RFID is a state-of-the-art technology that uses electronic tags on product packaging to allow manufacturers and distributors to more precisely keep track of drug products as they move through the supply chain. It is similar to the technology used for tollbooth and fuel purchasing passes.

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