Sproxil to curb drug counterfeiting with Airtel
INNOVATIONS| Aug. 28, 2012, 3:06 p.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
Sproxil, a venture-backed and social enterprise firm that provides world-class brand protection services in emerging markets has partnered with Bharti Airtel to combat the counterfeit drug market in Africa.
A cording to a statement made available to the local media by Edith Tsilizani, who is Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager for Airtel Malawi, the two firms sealed the partnership in Nairobi yesterday.
Sproxil’s Mobile Product Authentication TM (MPATM) solution helps ensure purchased goods are not stolen or counterfeit by allowing consumers to verify product genuineness within seconds through a text message.
Sproxil CEO Dr. Ashifi Gogo acknowledged during the signing ceremony that building relationships with individual telecom companies and acquiring the short codes necessary for their MPA solution in each country can take a considerable amount of time as it slows down deployment.
“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,” said Gogo. “For the consumers it’s a win-win – two advanced technologies working together: Airtel’s network provides high quality, very affordable telecom service enabling consumers to take advantage of Sproxil’s brand protection solution, at no cost to them.”
He says compatible with any tangible item; Sproxil’s solution is widely used by leading pharmaceutical companies to curb the multi-billion dollar counterfeit drug industry.
Now with the partnership, the two firms say the service will allow consumers to verify genuine Medications on mobile phones within no time through a text message.
The initiative is aimed at bringing drug authentication service closer to a population of over 450 million people in 17 countries across Africa.
The Chief Marketing Officer for Bharti Airtel Africa, Andre Beyers says indeed their 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,” said Beyers.
He said whilst this agreement is a step in the right direction, he also believes that collaboration between all the stakeholders in the mobile health ecosystem is key to a successful and sustainable future.
The Sproxil’s service works by placing a scratch-off label on products, and then when consumers purchase a product, they scratch off the label to reveal a unique, random code. The code is then sent via SMS to a country-specific Toll Free short code, and the consumer receives a reply almost instantly indicating whether the product is genuine or not.
Airtel is providing services in 17 countries across Africa, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS
2015 Youth mHealth Innovation competition now onBotswana’s 2015 mHealth Innovation Competition has been launched with much promise from those taking part to excel beyond limit. Read More
Two African leaders unite to boost innovation on the continentThe UCT Graduate School of Business and MTN have formed a multi-million rand partnership to catalyse sustainable innovation in emerging markets. Read More
Africa 118 launches online business directoryYou can now find local services in Uganda at the click of the button, with the launch of Africa 118’s online directory. Read More
Agriculture startups stand to win $50,000 each in seed fundingInnovators have two weeks left to apply for an accelerator programme for agriculture in East Africa. Read More
Airtel, UP Magazine to award key change-makersAirtel has partnered with UP Magazine to launch a first of its kind awards to reward innovative elements in Kenyan society. Read More
MasterCard launches $50m fund to boost rural financial servicesThe MasterCard Foundation has launched a US$50 million challenge fund to improve the lives of smallholder farmers by enabling businesses to begin or expand financial services in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Read More
Ghanaian startup Beam heads for Seedstars World FinalSeedstars World, the most exclusive startup competition for emerging markets and fast growing startups, is bringing Ghana-based startup Beam to Geneva for its Final Event on February 4. Read More
Minister tours Botswana Innovation Hub projectsBotswana’s Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Hon. Nonofo Molefhi, took time for a tour of some of the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) projects on a familiarisation mission. Read More
Safaricom launches ideas portalSafaricom has launched an interactive portal dubbed Zindua Café through which external innovators and developers will be able to share their ideas, applications and prototypes with Safaricom. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.