[Ip-health] mPedigree's $200, 000 prize from DoD, for technology to reduce counterfeit drugs
james.love at keionline.org
Fri Jan 7 06:44:20 PST 2011
In 2010, the US Department of Defense awarded a $200,000 prize to the
Ghana firm mPedigree, for developing a new technology to deal with
mPedigree from Ghana is the first system in the world which enables
consumers and patients to verify the authenticity of their medicines by
sending a free text message of the unique, product-embossed codes.
Across the developing world, especially in West Africa, the issue of
fake and counterfeit medication has become a huge problem - the WHO
estimates that in many emerging markets, up to 30% of drugs are
compromised. The growing sophistication of cheap graphic software and
hardware kit means that packaging, including traditional security
features such as holograms, can be perfectly replicated by even
smalltime counterfeit operators making the need for a highly robust but
economically feasible system urgent.
While being just as robust as emerging methods such as EMID and RFID,
and far more secure than holograms, the mPedigree approach is widely
accessible through basic text messaging, requires no specialist
equipment or training, is free to access for consumers, and a fraction
of the price of holograms, and RFID and EMID techniques.
mPedigree has been awarded $200,000 sponsored by TSWG of the US
Department of Defense and mentorship from Advent Venture Partners.
Bright Simons, Founder of mPedigree said "This is a clear sign that
African technology has come of age and that innovators in Africa
addressing complex, difficult and unique challenges can, not
withstanding limited resources, deliver world class results. I would
like to thank our partners, without whom both our work and this honour
would have been impossible. In particular, we would like to thank
Nigeria's NAFDAC, HP, May & Baker, Ashoka and many others we cannot name
now. Through their support, we are indeed saving lives, across Africa
and soon beyond."
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