Mobile technology to foil counterfeit drugs

An American technology company is utilising mobile phone technology in an attempt to combat the $75 billion-a-year counterfeit drugs market. Copies of proprietary brand drugs not only eat into the margins of pharmaceutical companies, who invest hundreds of millions of dollars in developing medicines every year, but also threaten the health and safety of those that take medicines not subject to stringent industry testing.

Drug counterfeiting is a global problem and is endemic in certain parts of the developing world where up to 30% of all medicines are counterfeit. To combat the increasing availability of fake drugs, PharmaSecure has developed a system that creates a direct link between manufacturers and the end user. This provides consumers with a guarantee that the medicines they are taking were produced by the licensed and regulated company.

PharmaSecure’s track and trace authentication system provides a unique ID code on product packaging, which can be used to track every stage of the drug’s journey through the supply chain right into the hands of the end customer. The customer can then use a simple SMS messaging system to verify authenticity. The system ensures the customer is protected from the dangers of counterfeit medicine and the company protects its trademark as well as maintaining the integrity of its products and brand identity.

Due to the simplicity of the system and the relatively low cost of implementation, PharmaSecure track and trace programme has the ability to be scaled on a global level and deal a severe blow to the counterfeiters.

Mobile technology combats drug counterfeit in India

A new pharmaceutical venture between the USA and India has launched an innovative mobile-based anti-counterfeit scheme.

Sproxi, a US-based pharmaceutical company, has launched in India and revealed a product designed to combat any drug counterfeit issues.

Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) enables consumers to check the authenticity of a pharmaceutical product by sending the unique code on the drug as a free text message to the manufacturers in real time.

The service then confirms whether a brand is genuine or not.

India suffers from a huge trade in black market pharmaceuticals.

Ashifi Gogo, CEO of Sproxil, said: “India has one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world, but is plagued by counterfeit medicines made elsewhere that tarnish the brands in question.

“Our services enable Indian companies to reduce the presence of counterfeit medicines by connecting companies directly to their consumers in a scalable manner, using mobile phones.”

Spraxil launched the first national mobile-based anti-counterfeit service in Africa and has also sold millions of anti-counterfeit labels that service some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

Many of these companies are now looking to build on the SMS service by seeing if verification codes and similar authentication methods can be sent by mobile social networking sites.