RFID system targets drug fakes in Nigeria

An anti-counterfeiting system that lets users verify drugs through radio-frequency identification technology is the objective of a collaboration among the drug-making technology venture GlobalPCCA, RFID chip maker Verayo, and scanner maker SkyeTek. Drugmakers would affix RFID tags to drug packaging and users would scan the tags via pen reader, which provides red-light/green-light verification.

The battery-powered system targets counterfeit-swamped Nigeria, according to SecuringPharma. It's a technology alternative to the Sproxil service launched in February, in which users send a text message containing the ID code revealed when they scratch the Sproxil label; the code is forwarded to a server for verification and users receive a yes/no verification by reply text.

The GlobalPCCA goal is a system that provides offline verification, requiring no use of the Internet or cellular networks, and that can work away from a stationary power source. GlobalPCCA says the system has to be able to function in rural, remote villages as well as cities. Although the system provides for offline authenticity verification, it does require consumer use of a technology that's not already in their hands.

Another GlobalPCCA goal: affordability by the drug manufacturers operating in Africa. GlobalPCCA also supports a project that helps Nigerian hospitals and clinics produce their own drugs. The project promotes local compounding and drug production by hospital pharmacies using reliable, certified raw materials.

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