Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals is developing a high-tech radio frequency identification (RFID) electronic item-level tracking system to improve its control over the distribution of generic drugs. The company has been placing radio frequency inventory control tags on bulk containers of generic oxycodone and acetaminophen analgesics for Wal-Mart pharmacies for the past 6 months and will begin field testing a passive-tag RFID system soon.
Although costly to implement, advocates of RFID technology contend that it will help manufacturers such as Mallinckrodt easily determine rebates payable to retail pharmaciesa difficult and often costly process without electronic tracking systems.
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