Fighting Fake Malaria Medicine

Published: Tue Dec 18 2018

According to WHO, every 5 minutes a child dies due to substandard and fake malaria medicine in Sub Saharan Africa. It is estimated that a similar number (approx. 300 children per day) die from fake pneumonia medicine. Counterfeit products tend to circulate where inadequate regulation and governance are compounded by unethical practice by wholesalers, distributors, retailers and health care workers.

Prior to 2013, there was no global reporting of this information. Since WHO established the Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for substandard and counterfeit products, many countries are now active in reporting suspicious medicines, vaccines and medical devices. WHO has trained 550 regulators from 141 countries to detect and respond to this issue. As more people are trained, more cases are reported to WHO.

The Verify App team believes they can help in the fight against counterfeit and substandard medicine with their blockchain based product verification solution. The Verify App is a patented solution combining RFID/NFC chips with a simple, easy to use, decentralized app that will allow consumers, clinics, doctors, hospitals, and regulators to verify the authenticity of the medicine, including the expiration date. The app is available for free both on the App Store and Google Play Store. Any user can scan the medicine and, in a few seconds, instantly gain visibility of the distribution channel.

"No child should die because greedy and immoral people are supplying fake and expired medicine. These criminals take advantage of the lack of regulation and information in developing countries to rake in huge profits at the expense of innocent children," says Khurram Abdulla, COO of The Verify App. "This is something we strongly believe in and are willing to partner with WHO and other such organizations to offer our solution as part of our non-profit CSR program."

While some solutions try to tackle the problem of counterfeit medicine through QR codes, holograms, scratch codes, and bar codes, these are easily copied and bypassed by the criminal organizations that are getting increasingly sophisticated. The Verify App uses a patented multi-frequency chip that works with any smartphone as well as with industrial strength RFID readers. The RFID readers can scan a large number of products from a distance of 1-5 meters without direct line of sight and can be used by authorities to easily scan large shipments or even warehouses.

In addition, it has a built-in reporting feature that will alert regulators and authorities in the local area if a consumer comes across a suspicious product. Consumers are compensated for reporting suspicious products and will earn a financial reward if their report leads to seizure of counterfeit or expired products. This will help organizations like the WHO that cannot have their trained inspectors everywhere.

"We believe we can tighten the noose around the criminal organizations that peddle their deadly trade. There is no reason anyone should die because they couldn’t check if the medicine they were taking was genuine. We need to raise awareness of this. We need governments, NGOs, and technology companies like us to come together. We believe we can save lives," concludes Mr Abdulla.
Contact Name: Khurram Abdulla
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