Child Mortality and Counterfeit Medicine

2015 was set as the target year to reach the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The fourth goal relates to a topic receiving a lot of attention lately: reducing child mortality. Childhood mortality is an indicator of a country’s public health position, which translates to the country’s socio-economic development level. While some countries have made significant progress in achieving this goal, others are struggling to tackle this problem. Child mortality could be caused by a variety of reasons such as the prevalence of life threatening diseases in the country, unsanitary environments, lack of financial resources, limited access to healthcare, and even ingestion of dangerous counterfeit medication.

Safemedicines.org noted that Ghanaian children in 2010 suffered 110 deaths for each 1,000 children under five: a startling 11% of children. A very common source of these deaths was due to malaria. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, 7% of child deaths are caused by malaria. Not by coincidence, anti-malarial drugs are one of the most counterfeited drugs in Sub-Saharan Africa. From the incorrect dose of the active ingredient to no active ingredient at all, fake medicines have been found to have deadly impacts on their users.

Precautionary measures can be put in place such as protecting children with mosquito nets and repellants and spraying the house with insecticides. While this can significantly reduce likelihood of getting bitten, people can still be left vulnerable to disease-carrying mosquitos. This is why it is so important that consumers have access to effective, legitimately sourced anti-malarial drugs.

Causes of child mortality

Counterfeiting anti-malarial drugs is a vicious attack on the worldwide public health system. This attack is sometimes understated and ignored but happens to account for deaths of children under five who otherwise had the potential to be productive members of society.

 Combating counterfeit anti-malaria drugs requires:

  • A sustainable technological solution.
  • A strong involvement and collaboration of drug regulatory bodies with solution providers in countries with a prevalence of malaria.
  •  Strategic partnerships with organizations that create awareness and educate consumers to enable a malaria-free future exist in these countries. Organizations such as Fight the fakes and  Malaria no more work hard to raise awareness and reduce unnecessary deaths.

As 2015 progresses and countries strive to achieve their MDGs, it is important to make smart moves to ensure that these goals are met. Integrating the right solutions into your current systems goes a long way in helping achieve the goals. Let us invest in the lives of these children, the leaders of tomorrow.

 

 

Source:http://talkrealsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/multiracial.jpg

end malaria end counterfeiting

Press Release: Sproxil Appoints Anand C. Mehta as Head of India Operations

sproxil india anand c mehtaCambridge, Mass., U.S.A. & Thane, India (February 19, 2015) – Sproxil®., a leading provider of world-class brand protection, is proud to announce that Anand C. Mehta has been appointed Head of Sproxil’s Indian operations. In this role, Mehta will be responsible for managing the staff and leading the development and execution of Sproxil India’s expansion plans. He will be directing the management of the Company’s corporate relationships with customers, vendors, regulators and shareholders. Sproxil India delivers the Company’s award-winning Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) technology to the country, specializing in marketing communications, loyalty program development and anti-counterfeiting. The local operation currently serves multiple industries including FMCG and automotive parts.

Mehta has over 18 years of experience in operations management, strategic marketing and business development. Prior to joining Sproxil, he was the Chief Marketing Officer at Motoring Ahead & at Think as Consumer, a growth acceleration and outsourced marketing firm focused on startups and SMBs. Prior to that, Mehta held leadership and management positions including Vice President of Marketing for Schneider Electric India, Vice President of Marketing & D-TAC for Smartlink Network Systems Ltd. and Associate Vice President at D-Link India Ltd.

“We are confident that Mr. Mehta will accelerate our company’s growth within India, making Sproxil the trusted market leader in the country for brand loyalty solutions and product authenticity verification services,” states CEO Ashifi Gogo. “His strong drive and unique experience in marketing strategy positions Sproxil India for tremendous growth and success. We look forward to seeing our local operations continue raising the standard for innovative brand protection and marketing services in the country.”

 About Sproxil

Sproxil is an ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified social enterprise that uses mobile technology to combat counterfeiting and increase brand equity with innovative, consumer-focused product protection and targeted marketing solutions. Its award-winning MPA solution helps ensure goods are not counterfeit or compromised, empowering consumers to verify product genuineness by SMS, mobile app, web or voice.

Compatible with any tangible item, MPA is widely used by leading pharmaceutical companies to curb the multi-billion dollar counterfeit drug industry. MPA protects products across multiple industries, including personal care, agro-chemicals, automotive aftermarket parts and electrical cables. Sproxil’s mobile marketing and consumer loyalty services help brand owners increase consumer loyalty and differentiate themselves from competitors.

The company has been recognized globally for its efforts against counterfeiting and is endorsed by regulatory bodies in Nigeria and Kenya. Sproxil received the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 2013 Patents for Humanity Award in Information Technology, the 2010 IBM SmartCamp Boston Award and the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award. In 2013, Sproxil was named the most innovative company in health care and #7 overall by Fast Company Magazine. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, Sproxil has operations in India, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with the ability to execute projects on six major continents.

For more information and a full list of Sproxil’s solution suite, please visit www.sproxil.com.

 

 

 

Sproxil + Fight The Fakes Campaign

Fake medicines are a serious threat to the safety and well-being of every individual. Over 700,000 people die yearly from counterfeit drugs alone. Because consumer education is highly important, Sproxil has partnered with the Fight the Fakes campaign to increase awareness to improve the outcome of every consumer’s well being. Our CEO, Ashifi Gogo goes into detail in the video below about the partnership with Fight the Fakes and why it is necessary?

Want to partner with Sproxil to continue to combat counterfeiting? Contact Us

Seven Ways to Spot Fake Luxury Products

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while some have it all figured out, others still may not know what to get their significant other. If you are in the latter group, you are in luck: this weekend, small businesses and major retailers alike are having eye-catching sales on luxury gifts for that special person in your life.

Unfortunately, counterfeiters are also trying to take advantage of the holiday.

While many of these small businesses do sell genuine products, some businesses are selling the counterfeit versions – especially online. These businesses may not even know that they’re selling counterfeits: when they source goods from “trusted” distributors, they may be tricked into thinking that the fakes are original. Unfortunately, some of these business owners have not educated themselves on how to detect fake products, and ultimately, the consumer gets duped.

Over the years, Sproxil has been helping brands protect their products by enabling consumers to verify that the items they are purchasing come from a genuine, legitimate manufacturer. We’ve learned a lot about how to detect fake luxury items. With that said, here are seven ways to spot fake luxury products:

  1. The anti-counterfeiting golden rule: If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Check the website of the brand or check their authorized retailers’ websites to compare pricing.
  2. If a brand name item is not purchased from an authorized retailer, there is a chance it may be counterfeit. Most fashion designers sell their products through major retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macys, and Neiman Marcus. If you decide to purchase from retailers not publicly authorized to sell the brand, there is a good probability that it may not be original. However, many smaller retailers do buy direct from fashion designers or from bigger retailers, so don’t jump to assumptions so quickly!
  3. The quality isn’t the same. If the material does not look or feel like its high quality, genuine counterpart, it’s likely counterfeit. However, really good versions of knock-offs do exist and stolen products can hit retail shelves, so it’s important not to view this as the only way to determine a product’s authenticity. Be on the look out and educate yourself by checking brand websites and blogs on ways to determine a product’s authenticity via inspection.
  4. There are typos. Be wary of wrong spelling on the labels of products as this could be a major indication of a counterfeit item. Also be mindful of the term “100% genuine” on the label as it may indicate the opposite.
  5. The packaging is different or of lower quality. Luxury Fashion designers take their time to make sure every single detail is accounted for. If the packaging is miscolored, not well put together, unfamiliar, or just seems off, that may be an indication that the product itself is not from the brand and is counterfeit.
  6. The buttons are not engraved. While not all fashion designers do this, most use customized engraved buttons on their clothing. Some designers are even famous for specific features (like Christian Louboutin’s red-lacquered soles) so make sure that those details are there.
  7. Uneven and incomplete stitching. The original products typically have more stitching per inch than their fake counterparts.

While consumer education is really important, even the most expert shoppers can get fooled by a counterfeit. With Mobile Product Authentication™, Sproxil partners with brands to make sure that their customers only spend their time and money on the real thing.

 

how to spot fake luxury items

Do you have any creative suggestions on how to detect counterfeit luxury items? Share with us in the comments!

Dangers of Fake Dietary Supplements

The convenience of fast food has become the gift and the curse of the working class over the years. While it provides quick, filling meals for those with no time to cook, it lacks the necessary nutrients every working adult needs to function effectively in their lives. As such, many of the working class people today have become very reliant on supplements to help them improve their diets.

Even for those who don’t indulge in fast food, supplements are important for maintaining general health and well-being. A simple search for a specific supplement will return countless websites and blogs that swear by the product and its health benefits.

Recently, there have been a lot of news articles about the distribution of counterfeit supplements through four major retailers in the United States. These supplements are said to contain fillers with other herbs and ingredients not stated on the product packaging. This poses a great risk to consumers: these supplements may contain ingredients not listed on the packaging and can cause dangerous allergic reactions. For example, a “gluten-free” supplement that actually contains wheat ingredients could be life threatening if a consumer has a very severe reaction to gluten.

Fake dietary supplements

The dangers of purchasing fake supplements:

  • You waste money and resources on a product that will not give the desired result
  • They may contain inaccurate levels of the active ingredients in the supplement, which may pose a risk to you
  • You could have a life threatening allergic reaction to one of the ingredients not listed on the bottle
  • The unlisted ingredients may also interact with other medications you may be taking, which can cause more complex health issues

While there are limited resources in detecting fake supplements at the consumer level, here are some points to keep in mind when trying to verify these supplements without product verification technology.

How to detect these fake supplements:

  • The dietary supplement claims to be a good alternative to FDA approved drugs
  • The products are strongly promoted via email but are hardly available in stores (Be wary even in trusted stores)
  • The manufacturer makes claims that may seem too good to be true
  • There are obvious typos, poor quality packaging, or the odor is different

It is important that consumers become more aware of issues associated with purchasing fake dietary supplements and the ways to help detect fake supplements.

If you are a pharmaceutical company, nutritional supplement company, dietary supplement manufacturer facing these counterfeit issues, Sproxil can help you avoid these issues with supply chain protection and consumer-facing services. Our verification system helps the company build trust with its consumers by assuring them of the genuineness of the product being sold to them. Visit www.sproxil.com for more information.

Do you purchase dietary supplements online or in store? Have you been a victim of fake dietary supplements recently? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.

Ashifi Gogo speaks at Davos 2015

Our CEO Ashifi Gogo had the opportunity to participate in a panel at DAVOS 2015 titled “Should businesses lead the social agenda?” Engaging questions were tackled like;

– Is business doing enough?
– Can business solve social problems and make a profit? What models exist?
– Do other stakeholder groups need to rethink their traditional roles

Check out the insightful video.

Source : http://www.weforum.org/videos/should-business-lead-social-agenda#

 

Press Release : Sproxil Launches Mobile Product Authentication™ mobile app for Blackberry 10

Sproxil Launches Mobile Product Authentication™ mobile app for Blackberry 10

Award-winning product verification technology now available to 97% of smartphone users

To download the app, Click here

sproxil app on blackberry 10

Cambridge, Mass. (February 10, 2015) – Sproxil®, Inc., a leading provider of world-class brand protection, is proud to announce the launch of its’ Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) mobile app for Blackberry 10, joining the company’s portfolio of iOS, Android, and Blackberry 7 mobile apps. The award-winning product verification service covers 100% of all phones via SMS and voice and is now available to 97% of the smartphone market globally. 1

The recently launched app is an alternative way for Blackberry 10 users to access Sproxil’s MPA technology, which originally launched as an SMS and voice based service. The technology allows consumers to avoid potentially dangerous counterfeits by verifying that the products come from a genuine, legitimate source.

MPA’s security labels have scratch card technology – similar to that used for replenishing mobile airtime – to hide the unique, product-specific code. Every MPA protected product bears this label. At point of purchase, consumers remove the label’s scratch panel to reveal the code, which they text for free to Sproxil.

Alternatively, consumers can use the company’s mobile apps, which allow for verification by typing in the number or scanning the 2D barcode. Almost instantly, the cloud-based technology processes the code and replies to the consumer indicating if the product is genuine or suspicious.

“Our mobile apps are developed with the same high standards of security, speed, and reliability that MPA product verification technology is globally recognized for,” states Lu Zou, Systems Architect at Sproxil. “With millions of consumers already using the verification service, we see a significant opportunity for brands to better connect with and understand consumers in emerging markets – an opportunity that will set them apart from their competitors.”

The MPA solution can be used to verify any tangible item, and Sproxil’s solution is currently being implemented and used for products across multiple industries including pharmaceutical, skin care, supplements and vitamins, electrical cabling, automotive and motorcycle parts and agro-business, to name a few.

To download the app, Click here

Contact:

Jeff Loucks, PR Manager, Sproxil

jeff.loucks@sproxil.com

+1 (781) 571-9330

 

  1. Global market share held by the leading smartphone operating systems from 1st quarter 2011 to 2nd quarter 2014 (Q2 2014 data) http://www.statista.com/statistics/236035/market-share-of-global-smartphone-os-shipments-by-mobile-operating-system-per-quarter/

 

Press Release: Sproxil Appoints Chinedum Chijioke as Managing Director for Sproxil Nigeria

Chinedum Chijioke, MD, Sproxil Nigeria

Chinedum Chijioke, MD, Sproxil Nigeria

Congratulations to Chinedum Chijioke on becoming the Managing director for Sproxil Nigeria. See below the press release.

Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. & Lagos, Nigeria (February 5, 2015) – Sproxil®, a leading provider of world-class brand protection, is proud to announce that Chinedum Chijioke has been appointed Managing Director for their Nigerian operations. Chijioke will be responsible for managing the staff and leading the development and execution of the Company’s expansion plans in Nigeria.

He is also responsible for directing management of the Company’s corporate relationships with customers, vendors, regulators, and shareholders. Sproxil Nigeria pioneered Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) in the country and has grown significantly to protect products across multiple industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, personal care, and automotive parts. Its award-winning Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) technology is the most widely used MAS in the country.

Chijioke has fourteen years of strategic management and consulting experience. Prior to joining Sproxil, he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of CFS West Africa Limited, a customer service consultancy based in Lagos, Nigeria. Before CFS, Chijioke was Deputy Head of Business Advisory at Nextzon Business Services Limited, a management consultancy also based in Lagos.

Sproxil is an ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified social enterprise that uses mobile technology to combat counterfeiting and increase brand equity with innovative, consumer-focused product protection and targeted marketing solutions. Its award-winning Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) solution helps ensure goods are not counterfeit or compromised, empowering consumers to verify product genuineness by SMS, mobile app, web, or voice.

Compatible with any tangible item, MPA is widely used by leading pharmaceutical companies to curb the multi-billion dollar counterfeit drug industry. MPA protects products across multiple industries, including personal care, automotive aftermarket parts and electrical cables. Sproxil’s mobile marketing and consumer loyalty services help brand owners increase consumer loyalty and differentiate themselves from competitors.

The company has been recognized globally for its efforts against counterfeiting and is endorsed by regulatory bodies in Nigeria and Kenya. Sproxil received the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 2013 Patents for Humanity Award in Information Technology, the 2010 IBM SmartCamp Boston Award and the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award. In 2013, Sproxil was named the most innovative company in health care and #7 overall by Fast Company Magazine.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, Sproxil has operations in India, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with the ability to execute projects on six major continents.
For more information and a full list of Sproxil’s solution suite, please visit www.sproxil.com.

 

How Counterfeiting Affects Small Businesses

Meet Lilian

counterfeit small businesses

Lillian is a single mother who has been struggling financially to take care of her child. In fact, she and her son have not been able to visit her mother in three years simply because she could not afford it.

One day, Lillian came up with a great idea to design grocery bags that women can take to the market or grocery store. She designed the first few bags and sold them to women in her neighborhood to pilot the idea. The women loved it and began ordering more. She realized that she could turn this into a lucrative business that could help her get out of her financial struggles. She wrote up a business plan, found a manufacturer, secured her distribution channels, got a loan from the bank and started manufacturing. Her bags were selling out quickly and she could finally afford to buy good quality clothes for her child and take that trip to visit her mother.

A few months went by and sales started to decline rapidly. Lillian was very concerned and unsure why this was happening. She decided to do a little market research. She visited stores that she knew might sell her grocery bags and realized that they were actually selling fake versions of her bag. Lillian was heartbroken; all of her hard work was going down the drain because counterfeiters were manufacturing substandard versions of her bags.

Lillian’s story is one of many small businesses. Many people take the risk to start their own companies and work very hard to run their business successfully. But counterfeiters make it difficult by making a profit off of business owners’ hard work.

4 reasons why you should not support counterfeiting;

  • Counterfeits are a waste of your time and money: counterfeit products are generally not made with the same quality and care as their genuine counterparts, which means that it may not last as long as the original versions, not have the same features, or meet the expectations you have for that brand. In some cases, like with car parts, the counterfeit versions can be very dangerous and cause unwanted accidents.
  • You support only honest, legitimate businesses: if consumers decide not to buy these goods, these criminals will have no incentive to keep making counterfeit products. You also ensure that you’re not supporting organized crime, which has been strongly linked to the counterfeiting industry.
  • Counterfeiting hurts the economy: Counterfeiting leads to lost jobs in the company with the original product. A decline in sales means the company needs to cut down on costs and let go of hardworking, honest people because they simply can no longer afford to keep them.
  • Counterfeiting can be very dangerous: Depending on what the counterfeit product is, it may physically harm the consumer. For example; counterfeit drugs, counterfeit auto parts, counterfeit cosmetics, and counterfeit foods have all been found to contain ingredients or parts that can put people’s safety and wellbeing ins serious harm.

Is your company facing counterfeiting issues? How are you handling it? 

At  Sproxil, we are dedicated to developing amazing, innovative services that enable companies to protect their products along the supply chain and even in stores. We have an extensive post on how our services work here.

Sproxil-square-MPA

Have you been a victim of counterfeiting? Share with us in the comments

 

The story of Lillian is a fictional one drafted for the purpose of this blog

Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) Celebrates Five Years of Success

Today, we celebrate five years since we launched Nigeria’s first Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) with Biofem Pharmaceuticals.

It was almost like a leap of faith: Biofem believed strongly in our technology and recognized our service’s strong potential. Fortunately, the MAS pilot became a success, spurring dozens of other companies to follow suit and even inspiring regulatory change.

Our service is now the most widely used MAS in Nigeria and protects products across multiple industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, personal care, and automotive parts.

And it all started with a Diabetes treatment drug, Glucophage.

We reflect on our anniversary with a quick trip down memory lane:

5A5FC792-BA17-4C1B-9A52-AE0DC1DA5F73 8B525ED7-1C60-4D2E-BA17-A9C3D50193C2 9B683502-9171-45B0-B3C8-0437DDFEA4AC

 

Read more about the anniversary event after the jump.
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