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Big pharma planning to embed microchips in drugs
About the author: 

Big pharma could soon be Big Brother (if it's not there already)

Big pharma could soon be Big Brother (if it's not there already). Pharmaceutical giant Novartis is planning a new generation of pills that has a microchip embedded.
It will be seeking regulatory approval to place the chip in its existing drugs for transplant patients - but Trevor Mundel, global head of development, says the technology could be used in any, or all, of its drugs range.
The company has invested $24m in obtaining access to chip-in-a-pill technology, which was developed by Proteus Biomedical, a private company based in California.
The chip is activated by the stomach acid, and then transmits information to a small patch on the patient's skin. From there, the patch sends the data on to a doctor, for example, via a smartphone or over the internet.
The chip is supposed to tell the doctor that the patient is taking his or her medication and at the right dose, but it could have wider applications and could also send essential data about heart rate, temperature and body movement.
However, nobody really knows what the chip could be programmed to transmit.
(Source: Reuters, November 8, 2010).


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