IBM recently unveiled a radio-frequencyidentification (RFID) systemfor tracking and tracing pharmaceuticals.The company's new software andservices are designed to help manufacturersprotect products from theft andfraud and avoid replacement costs forproduct recalls.
The system for the pharmaceuticalsupply chain uses a combination ofRFID software and services to documentand track the movement of drugsthrough the supply chain. RFID tags areimplanted on products at the unit, case,and pallet level and authenticate theproduct from manufacturer to wholesalerto hospitals and pharmacies. Everytag is equipped with a unique identifierthat can be linked back to descriptiveproduct information such as dosageand strength, lot number, and productexpiration date. In addition to consumerprotection, the IBM system isanticipated to help manufacturers anddistributors improve their own performanceby reducing inventory,improve targeting recalls, and provide afaster response to market demand.