When Team’s Andy Fry, addressed Management Forum in London in May 2012 on the issue of Electronically Enabled Delivery Devices (EEDDs) not only did he review the history and contemporary landscape of EEDDs but he also commented on how EEDD technology could be used as part of an anti-counterfeit strategy.
Nigeria is currently experiencing a crippling problem with fake pharmaceuticals with drug cartels moving into the highly lucrative potential of counterfeit medicine including anti-malarials. Thousands of cartons of fake and substandard pharmaceuticals are pouring into the country from criminal gangs in China and Africa. Now, the Nigerians have started applying the technology of mobile phones to provide a safeguard against these counterfeits.
The Nigerian authorities are compeling pharma companies to put unique identifiers onto every single packet of medicine that they ship to Nigeria, obscured by a silver scratch panel, identical to those used on lottery scratchcards. Nigerian consumers can now use a closed loop system to confirm the authenticity of their medicine.
Defeating counterfeiting is always going to be an arms race between the authorities and the criminal gangs but even this relatively low-tech approach will help to save many lives in Nigeria and make the counterfeiter’s job that much harder. There are many ways in which EEDDs can be used to enhance compliance and provide a better patient experience from relatively low tech solutions, such as that employed by Nigeria, to sophisticated patient monitoring technology.