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Global Authentification Network
Counterfeit drugs pose a serious problem for developing nations, particularly in Africa. At least 700,000 people die each year from unknowingly taking fraudulent medicine. Some are placebos. Others contain only a fraction of the active medicine—and many contain ingredients that can do harm.
HP has been working with social enterprise mPedigree to design a first-of-its-kind service that allows people to easily check the authenticity of their
medications, for free. We've designed the service to be easily accessed from a basic mobile phone—an important consideration in regions with limited technology resources and infrastructure. In these places, inexpensive mobile phones often serve as a lifeline to vital services such as banking, education, and healthcare.
Here's how the system works: Select pharmaceuticals contain a code that's printed on the packaging. Individuals can send that code via text or SMS message to the mPedigree system, which quickly returns a message telling them whether or not the medication is authentic.
Mobile phones are becoming a valuable tool in preventing deaths from counterfeit drugs. Working with its partners, HP helped create a mobile drug authentication system that is easy to use, secure, and scalable.
We've brought in our expertise and technology to create a cloud infrastructure that makes authentication and tracking fast, easy, and secure. Each time someone texts a code, it is checked against a database of authentic codes stored in HP's secure cloud.
HP and its partners launched the drug authentication program in Nigeria and Ghana in December 2010, beginning with select anti-malarial drugs. But soon the system—recently endorsed by the West African Health Organization—will cover more medications and additional countries.
The Global Authentication System is a win for everyone involved. Patients/consumers have the peace of mind that the medications they're taking are genuine. Pharmaceutical companies can safeguard their customers' health and protect their brand. The system is a life-saver.