Armed Via Texting

11 01 2013

“With the crackdown on illegal narcotics, drug barons have redirected their resources to manufacturing counterfeit medical products because it is more lucrative and less risky,” says Dr Paul Orhii, the director general of Nafdac. The war against counterfeit medicine has been on for more than 20 years in Nigeria. This war is FAR from being won. With the right armor, it could go away faster. With that being said, more and more packs of pharmaceuticals being produced by pharmaceutical companies have a small strip added to the packaging, like a scratch panel that you would see on a gift card or mobile phone charge-card.

When you get your drugs, you scratch the strip which will reveal a code underneath. Then you send the code via text to a toll free number. Within just a few seconds, you will receive a response, such as, “yes.” If you receive “no” then it will have a number attached so you can alert authorities. MPedigree, texting service, is now operating in eight countries including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and India. Cameroon and Rwanda are next. For this to work, many people need to come together. Most of the pharmaceuticals with the strip are only available in hospitals. But by the end of February mPedigree hopes there will be 10 million packets in pharmacies across the world. I hope so too!

For more about this and a heartbreaking story about a girl who died in her twenties from fake insulin  click HERE.

 

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