Drug maker Pfizer has begun attaching high-tech radio identification tags to packages of its anti-impotence drug Viagra in an attempt to thwart counterfeiters. The tags send out a signal that pharmacists in the United States will be able to pick up on specially-designed electronic scanners to verify that packages of Viagra are authentic. The product code detected by the scanner is sent over the Internet to a secure Pfizer Web site to confirm its authenticity. Pfizer joins Purdue Pharma LP, the maker of pain reliever OxyContin, which has been using RFID tags since November 2004 to combat counterfeiting.
I was proud to serve on the FDA’s Counterfeiting Taskforce. One of our main conclusions was that RFID is a viable tool to fight the insidious growth of counterfeiting both here at home and around the world. It’s good to see theory put into practice as we all gear up to battle what is nothing less than international health care terrorism.