The innovation by Ghanaian entrepreneur, Bright Simons to detect fake drugs gets a major boost as one of the world’s leading IT companies, Hewlett Packard develops its technology and security infrastructure.
The innovation known as mPedigree uses the text message system of the mobile phone to help consumers check if the drug they are buying is fake or genuine.
The system assigns a unique code to genuine drugs, printed on the back of medicine blister packs under a sheet that is scratched off.
When a customer sends a text message to a short code, an instant “OK” response is received indicating if the drug is registered and thus real. It also sends additional information like the drug’s manufacturer and expiry date.
If the drug is not registered and potentially fake, people receive a text message that says “No. Please recheck code.” The system is free for consumers and is paid for by pharmaceutical companies and governments.
Bright Simons told ghanabusinessnews.com that HP’s involvement with mPedigree “underscores the world class calibre of the programme.” Adding “HP is the world’s largest telecom company with the largest technology in health and they are widely trusted by the pharmaceutical industry.”
He believes that HP’s extensive track record in authentication is a plus for mPedigree.
The Nigerian government has already decided to use the technology on all medicines in the country. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have all expressed interest in using the technology.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi