Pfizer, Sproxil aid in safe drug access programs

Pfizer, Vodaphone and Sproxil committed Tuesday to improve access to medicines in Africa and Asia by answering the Business Call to Action, an initiative targeting the international Millennium Development Goals. Pfizer VP Ponni Subbiah says the drug giant will work with Vodafone, in collaboration with Gambian and international health officials.

The effort aims to improve access to and reliability of the medicine supply using mobile phone technology. The system, called SMS for Health, will use real-time information collected via mobile phones to track medication stock levels and expiration dates and help capture trend information, reports The Financial. SMS for Health is being piloted in The Gambia.

For its part, Sproxil has pledged $4 million over the next two years to expand anti-counterfeiting efforts based on mobile phones in India and Kenya. The system, like the one we've reported in Nigeria, allows patients to check drug authenticity by texting a numeric code on the drug and then receiving a quick positive or negative reply. In Nigeria, Sproxil's codes have been used on more than 1.4 million blister packs.

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