July 10, 2013 — Over the last couple of years, Nigeria through the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has intensified its efforts to combat the sale and importation of counterfeit food and drugs. Most recently, NAFDAC has taken the fight a step further, beyond lengthy laboratory analysis, to quick, easily accessible and on the spot product verification using technology provided by a number of companies. Some of these companies include:
With the slogan “making counterfeiting unprofitable,” Sproxil has been actively supporting NAFDAC in the fight against counterfeiting in Nigeria. NAFDAC’s relationship with Sproxil can be traced back to February 2010 when NAFDAC, with the support of BIOFEM Pharmaceuticals, launched its Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) on the drug Glucophage, putting the power of product verification in the hands of consumers. Powered by Sproxil’s award-winning cloud-based Mobile Product Authentication™ technology, MAS allows Nigerian consumers to verify that products they buy are genuine by simply using a mobile phone and a free SMS message. This technology has also been used by pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline in Nigeria, on the antibiotic Ampiclox.
Since 2010, NAFDAC has successfully used Thermo Scientific’s (formerly Ahura Scientific brand) Truscan handheld Raman instrument in order to rapidly identify counterfeit and sub-standard drugs imported and sold in Nigeria. The Truscan device allows NAFDAC to within seconds identify the slightest differences in drug formulation.
To learn more about the use of the Truscan device by NAFDAC, check out the above in-depth report by Dan Rather on the problem of counterfeiting in Nigeria and the use of new technology.
HP and mPedigree introduced an SMS-based authentication technology to aid Nigerians to easily authenticate malaria medicines produced by the pharmaceutical company May & Baker Nigeria Plc. The mPedigree technology has also been used in other African countries including Ghana.
Earlier this year, NAFDAC endorsed PharmaSecure to provide it SMS-based medicine authentication services to Nigerians. PharmaSecure is well-known for offering similar services to products in the Indian market by affixing track and trace codes that aid consumers with mobile phones in authenticating products.
In April 2013, following the approval by NAFDAC, Norwegian company Kezzler formed an alliance with UBQT Ltd Nigeria. Under the alliance, Kezzler will provide its provide its product traceability platform (previously used to authenticate Roche Cancer medication) while UBQT make its mobile integration services available to empower consumers in Nigeria to easily authenticate products.
- Norway’s Kezzler has formed an alliance with UBQT Ltd of Nigeria on a platform for verifying medicines using text messaging by IRACM
- Kezzler and UBQT team up to fight drug counterfeits in Nigeria by Phil Taylor
- Sproxil completes Nigerian text message verification pilot by Phil Taylor
- GSK introduces SMS service to combat Nigerian counterfeits by Alexandria Pesic
This article is intended to provide general information about the subject matter. Professional legal advice should be sought about specific circumstances.