Saturday, 19 February 2011

Mobile phone services to tackle the dissemination of fake drugs

The problem of counterfeit medicines was first addressed at the international level in 1985 at the Conference of Experts on the Rational Use of Drugs in Nairobi. The meeting recommended that WHO, together with other international organizations and NGOs should study the feasibility of setting up a clearing house to collect data and to inform governments about the nature and extent of this phenomenon.
In February 2006, the World Health Organization launched the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT).  At its core, IMPACT aims to build coordinated networks across and between countries in order to halt the production, trading and selling of fake medicines around the globe.
Recently, Sproxil, a social enterprise, developed a labelling technology called Cascading Authentication targeted for medicines distributed in developing countries which takes advantage of the large distribution of mobile phones in these countries. All genuine drugs, tracked within the supply chain from the factory to the final retailers, are identified by a specific code on the package.  Local consumers, simply by texting this code to the operator get an instant response confirming the brand's genuineness.

Cascading Authentication - Sproxil
Further information
MPedigree an NGO in Ghana, produced a video on counterfeit medicines.
Sproxil website of the social enterprise


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