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Sometimes, you can’t wait for industry titans to lead the way with the latest technology. Take H.D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co., the seventh largest pharmaceuticals distributor in the U.S., which earlier this year made the leap into radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Employees at one of the Springfield, Ill.–based company’s five warehouses began to attach one-inch-square tags embedded with electromagnetic microchips carrying an elec- tronic product code (EPC) to all the prescription narcotics it distributes. Using RFID technology, the EPC chips make it possible to identify and track every single package separately.

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