GSK Begins RFID Pilot Program

March 24, 2006
Patricia Van Arnum

Patricia Van Arnum was executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.

GSK Begins RFID Pilot Program

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK, London, England, www.gsk.com) has begun distributing its “Trizivir” HIV drug with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as part of a pilot project. The tags will be placed on all bottles of Trizivir distributed in the United States. Trizivir is a fixed-dose combination of GSK’s “Ziagen” (abacavir/ABC), “Retrovir” (zidovudine/AZT), and Epivir (lamivudine/3TC) therapies.

RFID-tagged bottles of Trizivir will begin appearing on pharmacists’ shelves in mid-April. GSK says it is working closely with FDA to assess the technology and its prospects for reducing counterfeiting. The testing of the RFID technology on additional products will be evaluated by GSK with guidance from FDA as the Trizivir pilot progresses.

GSK has worked with IBM (White Plains, NY, www.ibm.com) to design and build the technology in the pilot program, which allows GSK to tag each bottle with a unique product code.