Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
GSK To Tag Antiretroviral Drug Trizivir Bottles Shipped to U.S. With Tracking Device in Pilot Project To Prevent Counterfeiting
GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday announced it will begin attaching a radio frequency identification device to bottles of its triple-combination antiretroviral drug Trizivir shipped to the U.S. as part of a pilot project that aims to fight counterfeiting of the drug, Reuters reports. RFIDs use a small silicon chip and an antenna attached to each bottle to transmit a unique code that allows retailers and pharmacists to track the bottles with special scanners. The World Health Organization last month estimated that counterfeit drugs account for 10% of the global medicines market. GSK said the bottles with the technology should begin appearing in pharmacies in April (Reuters, 3/23). GSK said it selected Trizivir because it is listed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as one of the 32 drugs most prone to counterfeiting and diversion (GSK release, 3/22). GSK worked with IBM to develop its RFID technology (AP/Scranton Times-Tribune, 3/22). Pfizer in January began tagging its impotency drug Viagra with similar technology (Reuters, 3/23).
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