A new optically read microtag can be applied directly to the surface of a pill to verify drug authenticity, adding to new technologies to fight drug counterfeiting.

A new optically read microtag can be applied directly to the surface of a pill to verify drug authenticity.

Adding to the new technologies used to fight counterfeiting like high-performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry, nano-imprinting, and RFID monitoring, a company has developed an edible microtag that reflects a unique spectral light signature. This microtag can be read using a spectrometrically based optical reader so that unopened pill packages can be verified for authenticity through the clear plastic wrapping.

The microtags are made from silicon dioxide, which is clear, edible and biologically inert. The manufacturer can put a unique code on the microtag using a heat-transfer process, and can be linked to a complex database that has complete information on the medication.