“”Pharmaceutical information is intimately related to health or medical information, which society has long treated as very sensitive and private,” Tien said. “Think about all the ‘personal’ items we buy at the drugstore. My wife wouldn’t want anyone to know she had bought a home pregnancy kit. If RFIDs are promiscuous – unencrypted, not protected against being read by any RFID reader – anyone with a reader could know what she bought.”
Retailers could, in theory, get rid of clerks with robots that read item prices and credit cards.”
RFID holds tremendous promise in pharmaceuticals by providing manufacturing source and handling information. This authentication would prevent counterfeiting and ensure products were held to the highest standards in transit.
At this time and for the forseeable future it is impossible for robots to act as pharmacists. Furthermore, RFID would in no way inhibit or encourage the gathering of consumer information already available to credit companies, frequent buyer programs or retail outlets using biometric consumer identification.
While this article correctly reports that Wal-Mart and major drug companies are investigating RFID for use in pharmacies, its contributer’s suppositions on tracking reproduction and privacy are both bizzare and misguided.
“Should I be able to carry an RFID reader around in a hospital and know what pharmaceuticals are being used in which room?”
While the consequence of an RFID reader at hand is unclear, RFID News hopes that hospitals keep clear records and close track of pharmaceuticals administered to patients.