Bharti Airtel has announced a partnership with Sproxil to combat the counterfeit drug market in Africa. Sproxil's Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution allows consumers to check their drugs using SMS. The service and the SMS messages used for it will be free.
Counterfeit drugs are a much more significant problem in emerging markets than in the developed world, where greater technological resources mean consumers have better information. In a recent study of South-East Asian countries published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, a third of Anti-Malarial Drugs were found to be counterfeits.
Sproxil partner with pharmaceutical companies to place scratch-off labels on drugs packaging. When consumers purchase the drugs, they can use the SMS service to authenticate them. By partnering with Bharti Airtel, Sproxil are able to roll-out the service to the 17 different Airtel markets in Africa simulateneously.
Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel, Africa said, "Our goal is to bring affordable and easily accessible health services to over 450 million people. The battle against counterfeit drugs is a huge step towards this goal."
Dr. Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil CEO said. "By working with Airtel, we can get short codes in various countries' different markets from just one company, streamlining the process and 'turbo charging' our expansion throughout the region. For the consumers it's a win-win – two advanced technologies working together."