A new radio frequency identification (RFID) chip has been developed by Pliant and IBM that can not only track drug products through the supply chain but also identify when a product has been tampered with.

US-based leading packaging manufacturer Pliant has teamed up with IBM to develop the tamper detection technology on a pilot-scale. The technology combines plastic packaging film, circuitry and RFID tag to track down where in the supply chain a package has been interfered with.

The smart technology market is driven by the need for new clinical trial compliance and brand protection measures, with the demand for new developments within RFID used in pharmaceuticals creating a market valued at $18 million during 2005. And it will potentially reach to $464.8 million in 2012, according to a Frost & Sullivan report.

The tamper monitoring system works by combining stretch wrap - printed with conductive circuitry - and RFID technology. The combination of chip and stretch wrap functions as a powered circuit around the package. If tampered with, the RFID chip will cease to function effectively and allow users to track down the point of interference using a RFID portal system or by a hand held device.