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Thursday, August 9, 2007

IBM to help pharmaceutical industry in fight against couterfeiters

We've all received the annoying e-mail spam offering cheap pain relievers or erectile dysfunction drugs, and in many cases what you'd receive, if you actually fell for it, is counterfeit medication. IBM has created a system that it calls "ePedegree" to track medications from the manufacturer, to the pharmacy, and all points in between. Using RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags similar to those already employed in the retail industry, the system allows the drug companies to create electronic certificates of authenticity for medications. It's a cat and mouse game however, as other measures have already been employed only to be faked within a few months. IBM says the system has other uses "for keeping track of expiration dates, batch numbers in case a drug is recalled, and so on." Globe and Mail story here.