Partnering to Combat Malaria

We at Sproxil recently hosted a very informative webinar with Malaria No More and Bliss GVS on the 22nd of April 2015. The theme of our webinar was partnering to combat malaria. We discussed how key players in the malaria control space are achieving progress and making an impact. We also discussed existing creative solutions and learned from a manufacturing company about a unique case they had on dealing with a counterfeiting problem for their anti-malarial drug. We also discussed the importance of strategic partnerships in eradicating Malaria. Some of the key highlights from each speaker are as below:

Martin Edlund- CEO Malaria No More

  • Increase in global funding has seen declining Malaria mortality rate.
  • There is a 58% decline rate of Child deaths in Africa due to Malaria.
  • There are a vast number of people living in these communities with malaria prevalence that do not show symptoms but may have the parasite present in their system.
  • A hypersensitive rapid diagnostic test is being developed and refined which helps to identify low levels of malaria parasite.
  • More funding is needed to push this initiative forward.
  • Malaria is building resistance to existing drugs due to their substandard or counterfeit nature.
  • Mobile is revolutionizing the process of malaria control.
  • Malaria is one of the first diseases that is being combatted with mobile solutions through the use of services like Sproxil.
  • Partnership with Malaria No More and Sproxil has been beneficial in gaining insights to eradicate the disease.

Ashifi Gogo – CEO Sproxil

  • Counterfeit drugs boost malaria resistance
  • If we eradicate malaria, we reduce the demand for drugs and eliminate the supply of fake drugs.
  • 97% people living in Nigeria are at risk constantly in getting malaria.
  • Annually ~100m malaria cases, 300,000 deaths.
  • NAFDAC (Nigerian FDA) requires consumer verifiable anti-malarial drugs.
  • Sproxil tracks malaria seasonality and is able to offer pharmaceutical companies insights on data for increased anti-malarial drugs purchase.
  • Sproxil is the anti-virus solution for anti-malarial drugs protection.
  • Recipe for malaria control success? Strong partnerships.

Chandni Thakkar Senior executive, International Business Development Bliss GVS

  • Anti Malaria drugs are one of the most counterfeited drugs in Africa.
  • 85% of malaria deaths occur in Children under five years of age in Africa.
  • Past anti-counterfeiting solution like 3D Hologram was introduced which failed to meet the desired results for Bliss GVS.
  • Partnered with Sproxil 5 years ago.
  • 648,339 – The number of consumers reached in the first 18 months of launching the MAS(Mobile authentication service) with Sproxil.
  • Sproxil + Bliss GVS partnership helped intercept a stolen anti-malarial product in the supply chain.

The key takeaway from the webinar was the importance of partnerships. Whether it involved governmental organizations or private institutions, the Public Private partnership in malaria control is a key element. Organizations need to find a way to work with regulatory bodies, NGO’s and other key stakeholders as long as there is a common goal which in this case is, “Eradicating malaria.”

We are thrilled that we hosted this webinar to inspire organizations to start thinking of strategic partnerships to form that will benefit their organizations. If you attended, we hope you enjoyed it. If you did not, you can download the webinar slides from here

You can also watch the webinar video here

hands_holding_jigsaw_202588

Would you like to host a webinar with us in the future? Send us an email at team@sproxil.com 

 

Free Webinar: Malaria No More, Sproxil and Bliss GVS

Webinar: Partnering to Combat Malaria

April 22, 2015
10:00am – 11:00am EST
Webinar link to be provided to registered attendees
malaria no more_sproxil_bliss gvs webinar
With World Malaria Day (April 25) swiftly approaching, Sproxil, Malaria No More and Bliss GVS Limited have partnered together to present a free webinar on the state of the disease and the collaborative efforts toward a Malaria-free future for all.

Who should attend this webinar?

Everyone can benefit from learning more about the fight against malaria: Pharmaceutical industry professionals, Sproxil consumers, malaria control organizations, NGO’s who focus on malaria eradication efforts, consumer protection groups, social impact investors, medical professionals, medical technology manufacturers, companies focused on malaria prevention and the general public.

How will I benefit?

The focus of World Malaria Day is on investing in the future and eradicating malaria. To that end, the primary focus of the webinar is to discuss the progress and impact made by three key stakeholders in the malaria control space. You will learn about some of the creative ways organizations are fighting malaria around the world. This is also a great opportunity to connect with other organizations who would be interested in collaborating with you to combat malaria.

Important: For organizations interested in exploring partnerships with other like-minded organizations, please fill out your company name and title when you sign up. We will reach out to you after the webinar to discuss your goals and how you could partner with Sproxil, Malaria No More, and other webinar attendees.

Sign Up for the webinar, register at this link http://tinyurl.com/kro95dc

 

Tweet About This Webinar!

Now that you’ve signed up, encourage your friends and colleagues to join in by promoting the webinar on Twitter!

Sample tweets:

Tweet: Join @malarianomore, @sproxil and Bliss GVS at this informative webinar on Malaria Control. Register: http://ctt.ec/BG4fk+

Tweet: Join the discussion about creative solutions to combat malaria with @malarianomore, @sproxil & Bliss GVS! http://ctt.ec/0UnA1+

 

About Malaria No More

Malaria No More is determined to end malaria deaths. We’re helping the world get it done by engaging leaders, rallying the public, and delivering life-saving tools and education to families across Africa. Malaria No More is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to ending malaria deaths. The organization focuses on raising awareness of the impacts of malaria among the public and policymakers and reducing the burden of the disease through programs and partnerships that deliver malaria treatment, education and prevention. For more information, visit www.MalariaNoMore.org

Economic Impacts of Malaria on Communities

3.4 billion people live in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories (source: CDC).

Malaria is a disease that is caused by a plasmodium parasite, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Malaria symptoms usually begin between ten to fifteen days after an individual has been bitten. Additionally, if the individual is not treated properly or consumes counterfeit anti-malarial drugs, the disease can recur months later.

The first few symptoms of malaria are fever, chills, headaches and vomiting. While these symptoms are not necessarily unique to the disease, if you are in an area where mosquitos are prevalent and you have any of these symptoms, please visit your doctor immediately to test for malaria.

MALARIA SYMPTOMS

 

Some Facts About Malaria

  • Malaria is not contagious from interacting with infected persons
  • 207 million clinical cases of malaria were recorded worldwide in 2012. 627,000 cases of those were fatal
  • Children are especially at risk: 85% of malaria deaths occur in children under five years of age in Africa
  • The malaria disease typically breeds in tropical climates where there is an abundance of rain and humid conditions
  • Pregnant women are extremely vulnerable to the disease and can pass it on to their infant, which could result in low birth weight

Its Impact on Communities

The Malaria disease impacts communities in obvious and subtle ways: governments, health care facilities, businesses and citizens are all affected by malaria.

Cost to Governments

  • Cost of implementing public health interventions and providing educational materials for citizens
  • Loss of economic growth due to deaths and illness that can cripple overall productivity
  • Reduced tourism for fear of contracting disease
  • If applicable, increased cost of providing drugs and other supplies to public hospitals and health care facilities

Cost to Health Care Facilities

  • Increased strain on health care facilities staff and resources to accommodate infected patients
  • Increased cost of purchasing drugs and other supplies
  • Inability to provide quality care to all patients due to reduced resources

stethoscope

Cost to Businesses

  • Increased work absenteeism can reduce business growth potential
  • Impact on operating costs due to lower productivity
  • Increased health care spending

Cost to Community Members

  • School and job absenteeism
  • Loss of pay and increased strain on financial wellbeing of family
  • Increased risk of mortality for infants and mothers
  • Cost of burial expenses in the event of fatality
  • Out of pocket medical treatment expenses

While malaria can have a negative impact on an entire community, there are dedicated people who are working to combat the issue. With the help of stakeholders and organizations like Malaria no More, we are seeing significant efforts to eradicate the disease.

This year, World Malaria Day falls on the 25th of April 2015 and what better time to strengthen the awareness efforts of malaria control than on this day? Since 2013, the day’s theme is “Invest in the future, Defeat malaria.” In line with that theme, we are doing our part by offering a tool that helps consumers avoid dangerous, substandard anti-malarial drugs. We help the clients ensure that safe malaria tablets get into the hands of the community members so that we can all remain productive and healthy members of society. However, that is not enough. Through consumer awareness and education efforts, we can help empower people to stop a disease that plagues communities around the world.

To get further educated and to have the opportunity to discuss malaria control efforts and meet with like-minded organizations, join this informative webinar on the 22nd of April 2015 at 10-11am EST. The panelists will be Malaria no More, Sproxil, and Bliss GVS India. Click this link to register.

Let us continue to work together to eradicate malaria and give members of society a chance at living a normal life – a life free from malaria.

african_girls

Health Innovation Round Up April

We are beginning a new series on the blog called the “Health Innovation Round Up” where we post 5 links every month to interesting innovations that we discovered in the health space. The purpose of this series is to inspire other entrepreneurs in the health industry or would like to enter the health industry to learn about the current innovative solutions that exist in the market today. Perhaps even help these new innovations find great partners through our blog posts. Please share these posts with your network and comment if you have any interesting innovative solutions not listed on our post and we would feature it on the next round-up post we do. Here is our first list:

Symphony® CGM System

Image Source: Echotx.com

Image Source: Echotx.com

This is a needle-free glucose monitoring system for diabetic patients. Echo Therapeutics in Philadelphia has begun developing technologies that would replace the painful process of pricking your finger with using a patch instead. “Symphony is being designed to provide reliable, continuous blood glucose data in order to improve patient monitoring of blood glucose to allow for better overall clinical outcomes for patients in hospital critical care units and, subsequently, for people with diabetes.”

For more information on how this needle-free device works, check out their website

Whatsapp for Ebola

“The BBC World Service is launching a WhatsApp service in West Africa to give users of the chat app more information about the Ebola virus. The service will deliver information on preventative care, health tips and breaking news bulletins specific to the region about the virus in French and English, and often in audio formats.” This is a great initiative considering there is a high mobile penetration at the moment in West Africa. This is especially beneficial to help them reach people in remote area and provide the right information to them. Read More

 Wutuband for the Elderly

Image Source: ixonos.com

Image Source: ixonos.com

This smart wristband was designed to help simplify the lives of elderly people in the society. The wristband takes multiple actions and simplifies them in an intuitive interface. “The elderly population is significantly growing and is a big potential market for smart products. Our reference device incorporates simple interaction design with digital services. It is minimally designed, friendly and interactive, offering a rich and rewarding user experience. The design is intuitive and has been developed with today’s active and independent elderly people in mind.” Learn more about this interactive wristband on their website

Organovo

3D printing has been gaining a lot of traction within the medical industry these days and Organovo is one of the companies tapping into this space with their bio printers that print internal body parts like organs and vessels.This 3D bio-printers have an intuitive software that enables engineers construct a model of the body tissues even before the printer begins producing the physical version of the vessel or organ. Read more about their technology here.

Medisafe

Image Source: Medisafe.com

Image Source: Medisafe.com

The Medisafe app and its cloud-synced database enables friends and family help a loved one who needs medical care. The app enables friends and families facilitate medication adherence remotely so their loved ones either young or elderly can stay on top of their meds as necessary. In one of our blog posts, we talked about how medical adherence was a huge costly problem, this app helps eradicate this problem. Read More about this great app

Here at Sproxil, we are excited to see the strides in the health innovation space being players in the industry, it is important we highlight the efforts others are making to improve the healthcare industry. This fosters more collaboration within the industry and enables feasible scaling which improves the lives of others.

How Does Sproxil Create Value?

Sproxil was founded in 2009 with a mission to empower consumers to combat drug counterfeiting with a simple text message. We first launched our award-winning Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) technology in Nigeria to help patients avoid dangerous fake medicine at point of sale, becoming Africa’s first mobile-based product verification service.

Market presence

From the overwhelming success of our pilot, we realized the strong demand for our technology. We now have operations in the U.S. (our headquarters), India, Pakistan, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria, with presence in Mexico. We can even execute projects across six major continents through our global service, which utilizes a globally accessible phone number, mobile app, and web app to deliver services to markets where we do not yet have physical presence.

sproxil expansion plan

Industry presence

Following our success in the pharmaceutical industry, we also expanded our services to protect products across various industries such as FMCG, automotive, agribusiness, beauty, cosmetics and personal care, electrical, food, chemical, oil and gas, home goods and more. But, the fight against counterfeit medicine is not over: we still maintain a strong focus on helping patients avoid dangerous, counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

How it works

We partner directly with legitimate manufacturers and distributors to apply a special security label with a scratch-off panel to each product. At point of purchase, consumers will find the security label and scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single-use code, which they then SMS text to us. Our cloud-based technology processes the code and returns a response confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Consumers can also access the service through a mobile app (available on iOS, Android, and Blackberry), web app (http://Sproxil.com/verify), or by calling the company’s local 24/7 call centre (which supports major local languages).

Scratch

How does Sproxil add value to the consumer?

  • It empowers consumers: it provides consumers with a sense of security and trust when making purchase decisions about a product.
  • Consumers can avoid wasting time and money and risking their wellbeing on substandard fakes. There are many examples that illustrate fake products are simply a bad investment: fake automotive parts can lead to malfunctioning cars, which lead to more unnecessary costs and high risk of hurting passengers or the vehicle. Fake drugs can worsen a patient’s health. (We have a good example on the effects of counterfeit Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis drugs in one of our posts here). Fake, substandard electrical cables are a fire risk. The reasons are endless
  • It enables consumers to take an active role in the fight against counterfeit products by providing information to brand owners that can help them identify areas where counterfeiting or product theft may be present
  • It creates a channel for consumers and brands to communicate. Finally, consumers can have a way to provide feedback to brands so that brands can deliver better services and products back to loyal customers

How does Sproxil add value to your business?

  • It can increase sales and regain market share once lost to counterfeiters
  • Businesses can obtain detailed insight from data collected, thereby giving brands a better understanding of consumers in cash-based markets where few data exists
  • It creates a channel for consumers and brands to communicate important information, including supporting medical adherence efforts. From consumer feedback, brands can improve their service and product delivery to meet the ever changing needs of their loyal customers
  • They can boost their brand’s reputation by deploying loyalty campaigns and rewarding customer purchasing
  • They can source information from consumers about suspicious counterfeiting or theft activity
  • They can save their brand and restore consumer’s trust

How sproxil provides business value

How does Sproxil add value to government?

  • With the client’s consent, Sproxil can provide the government with information that could help them track down the counterfeiters and thieves
  • The government can save time and resources tracking down criminal activity using consumer-sourced leads
  • Sproxil and its clients can assist government with public awareness campaigns and consumer education efforts

By using Sproxil, all stakeholders profit. If your organization is looking for an easy way to integrate comprehensive, consumer-driven brand protection solution, contact us.

Dealing with Counterfeit Electrical Products

Schneider Electric, a company that specializes in efficient energy management, recently published a survey conducted in Africa on counterfeit electrical products. The aim of the survey was to assess the current situation in eleven countries across Africa where counterfeiting seemed prevalent. They were also interested in measuring the awareness by professionals about the existence of counterfeit products within their market and analyzing their understanding of its impact to their business and to their consumers.

The survey results show that counterfeit electrical products are widely spread in all the African countries surveyed and even accounts for up to 40 to 80 percent of their markets. Items like sockets, cables, switches, and extension cords are some of the most counterfeited electrical products. A more detailed result of the survey is available here.

Counterfeit and substandard electrical products pose a serious fire safety concern for both professionals and consumers. These substandard products could endanger the lives of consumers and result in unnecessary extra expenses from damage. If you remember the MGM fire in Las Vegas in the early 80s, it was due to combustible materials, including cables, burned at extreme speed and intensity. 84 people lost their lives that day. If you are cutting costs by buying substandard fake materials, you are only delaying and even exacerbating the problem further.

fire counterfeit electrical products

Ways to Spot Counterfeit Electrical Products

Incorrect certification marks – Depending on the country that you live in, there are certain certification bodies that provide verification marks on products to help consumers determine the authenticity of the product they are purchasing. Additionally, given the level of sophistication of some verification marks, counterfeiters sometimes it may be more difficult (although not impossible) to replicate it. This would be the first tip-off to the consumer that the product is not genuine. Most products use the UL number worldwide from a safety and certification company and other products may use alternative verification marks. Be sure to note which ones apply and use that as a tip to verify authenticity.

Instructions, warnings and warranties – Are the instructions on the packaging clear? Do they match the product in the package? Are the warnings equally relevant to the product in the package? What warranties are they offering? Sometimes these counterfeiters just copy and paste a generalized blurb of information on warranties and instructions on any packaging, whether it is relevant to the product or not. Be sure to read the instructions and verify that it matches the product you are purchasing.

Colour – If you have been buying the product for a while, you will come to know what the original colour is supposed to be. Even if you are uncertain, you can verify through the company’s website to ensure it is the right product you are purchasing. This is not perfect as re-branding a product may change the product’s packaging or color.

Printing – Is the printing on the package low quality? Most electrical companies take special care in packaging their products to reflect the high quality nature of the brand. If the print on the package does not match the level of quality you have experienced previously, it is likely the product is not directly from that brand. Pay close attention to the logo on the packaging as well and match it with the logo of the brand you are buying.

Weight – Does the product seem heavier or lighter than usual? Some companies state on their website the exact specification of their products so if the product you have purchased does not match that specification, this may be another tip-off for you.

Price – This is usually an important indicator. If the price of the product is unusually low, there is a high possibility that the product is not from its genuine source.

East African Cables, a premier cable manufacturer that functions in East and Central Africa, realized the issue of counterfeit electrical products much earlier in their business cycle. They searched for easy to integrate technological solutions to incorporate in their current business processes and decided to employ Sproxil’s services. So far, their client’s have had nothing but good news to report regarding this service as seen below.

anti counterfeit solutions electrical cables

counterfeit electrical cables solution

 

Are you a an electrical company looking for easy-to-implement solutions that protect your brand and ensure consumer safety? Reach out to us via email and let us help you figure out the next steps.

The Effect of Counterfeit Drugs on Tuberculosis

March 24th is World Tuberculosis (TB) day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the TB epidemic and to support all control efforts around the world. This yearly event signifies the date when Robert Koch first discovered and announced the existence of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis back in 1882. Over the years, significant progress has been made towards eradicating the disease worldwide and this is reinforced through annual recognition and a call to action for continuous progress. While we have yet to wipe out TB completely, progress so far has been incredible. According to WHO, “about 37 million lives were saved worldwide between 2000 and 2013 through TB diagnosis and treatment and 86% of people who developed TB and were put on treatment in 2012 were successfully treated.

World tuberculosis day 2015

While significant advances are being made towards eradicating TB, counterfeiters are equally as relentless in their efforts to halt progress by pumping counterfeit and substandard drugs into the market. Tuberculosis can be cured with several rounds of heavy antibiotics with the correct amount of active ingredients. Unfortunately, counterfeiters produce drugs without the right amount of the active ingredient; this can cause the bacteria in the patient’s body to develop resistance to the drugs because the drug is not potent enough to completely destroy the bacteria.

Based on this according to the WHO:

  • Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) does not respond to standard treatments and is more difficult and costly to treat. MDR-TB is a form of TB that is present in virtually all countries surveyed by WHO. The primary cause of multi-drug resistance is the inappropriate or incorrect use of anti-TB drugs.
  • An estimated 480,000 people developed MDR-TB in 2013. In some cases an even more severe form of multi-drug resistant TB may develop with bad treatment. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a form of TB that responds to even fewer available medicines.

Why do substandard TB medication exist in these countries?

– There are unregistered drugs present in pharmacies

– There are food and drug regulatory bodies with limited resources and oversight

– There is weak customs and border control

How can we tackle this?

– Enforce registration policies for all consumer products that enter the market

– Set up in-country facilities to test medicines before they are sold to the public

– Strengthen border control and food and drug regulatory resources

– Partner with organizations working to combat tuberculosis such as Stop TB , TB Alliance , KNCV TBC

– Partner with experienced technology providers to ensure that genuine TB drugs get in the hands of each TB patient

 

On this World Tuberculosis Day, Sproxil is calling on all regulatory bodies, organizations working to fight TB and healthcare service providers to join this fight against counterfeit drugs.

Let us work to end Tuberculosis worldwide together.

Gaining Back Consumer Trust After A Product Recall

Counterfeit products are damaging consumer trust every day. Consumers, dazzled by the cheaper prices of knock-offs, can be misled to purchase fake versions of products, only to learn that the product does not work as intended. If the brand isn’t actively working to combat counterfeits, the consumer loses trust that she can distinguish between the original and counterfeit versions, and may opt to avoid the brand all together. Sales decline, brand reputation erodes, and the company can lose a significant portion of their market share.

No company is immune: the plague of counterfeit products affects local and multi-national companies, from small shops set up outdoors to big chain businesses.

The good news is that there are several tools and strategies that can help brands fight fakes. Technology, particularly has been a strong driver for innovative anti-counterfeiting solutions, including serialization, track and trace, and packaging design. Consumers can even see these technologies in action. From holograms to authenticity stickers, tamper-evident seals to unique packaging, brands are putting technology’s potential to work.

But what do you do when your product must be recalled? While the solutions mentioned above can be indicators for authentic products, they don’t actually verify authenticity nor do they restore consumer trust after a recall.

Consider the following steps for recalling a product:

  • Crisis Management
  • Communication
  • Awareness
  • Solution Implementation
  • Communication
  • Awareness

Crisis management is not a single department’s duty, but the work of cross-functional teams with a unified goal of protecting the consumer and the brand. The brand must have a crisis management protocol in place, which includes preventive and reactive measures for business-impacting situations. In addition, the communications department, with advisement of the management team, must take necessary steps to convey information to stakeholders, consumers, and even employees. It is the responsibility of this team to alleviate concerns about the brand’s integrity while cross-functional teams work internally to create a solution for the recall.

Awareness and communication appear twice in the list above because they are critical steps in ensuring that everyone affected is involved, educated, and updated on the recall. Several companies have failed due to lack of awareness and communication. Be it embarrassment about the recall or just poor oversight, when awareness and communication is not there, success is limited. With access to other sources of information outside of the company’s control, the ability for the company to manage the situation can become even more complicated. Therefore, proactive communication is key to ensuring that the situation remains in your favour.

communicate with consumers

At every step of the way, when it makes sense, communicate with stakeholders and customers via newsletters, social media, email, and other appropriate channels. Receiving updates makes customers feel like the brand is working actively to protect them.

When a solution is created, educate the consumers on how it works and why that was chosen as the ideal solution. Transparency is key for your consumers to accept why the recall occurred and why the brand’s resolution is the ideal route. Make sure that the solution itself is not too complex or inconvenient for the consumer. The last thing that the brand should do is to put the consumer through more stress by requiring active input through a long, drawn out process.

Once the solution is implemented, continuous awareness efforts and open communication will help regain trust that your brand is capable of fixing mistakes and can keep the customer protected.

With several years of experience in brand protection, Sproxil has been able to assist companies that have faced similar challenges through consulting, solution implementation and brand reputation building. If you are a company facing brand reputation issues and require guidance on how to proceed, contact us at team@sproxil.com and let us help you.

business handshake

Sproxil Awarded Grant from Human Development Innovation Fund

Sproxil Awarded Grant from Human Development Innovation Fund
Grant Will Fund Expansion of Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Loyalty Services to Tanzania

 Cambridge, MA (­March 16, 2015) – Sproxil®, a leading provider of innovative brand protection and loyalty solutions, has been awarded grant funding from the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) in partnership with DFID, the United Kingdom’s government department responsible for administering overseas aid. The grant will be used to help expand Sproxil’s business into Tanzania and to educate consumers about the health risks associated with counterfeit products.

Sproxil’s award-winning anti-counterfeiting service, Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™), is a free service that safeguards consumers by giving them the tools to differentiate between fake and genuine products through the use of a mobile phone. The solution already protects products across multiple industries, including pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, electrical cabling, automotive parts and home goods. MPA is widely trusted by leading pharmaceutical companies to curb the multi-billion dollar counterfeit drug industry.

The MPA service is simple to use and can be accessed by any mobile phone. Before purchasing a product, the consumers scratch a label to reveal a unique, one-time use code. They then SMS text the code to a secure number provided on the product package. Within seconds, Sproxil notifies the end user, via SMS, of the result. Alternatively, end users can verify using Sproxil’s iOS, Android, and Blackberry mobile apps, by web, or through the company’s call center to get results in their local language. The company provides the most channels to verify products instantly.

We are grateful to HDIF for recognizing the value and importance of Sproxil’s efforts to protect consumers from the dangers of counterfeit products,” states Danielle Goldschneider, Sproxil’s Strategic Partnerships Manager. “We believe our services will make a significant impact on decreasing the amount of dangerous counterfeit products, specifically healthcare products, which continue to infiltrate the market in Tanzania.”

Drug counterfeiting is a global crisis: according to the World Customs Organization, the counterfeit drug market is estimated at $200 billion with over 700,000 deaths each year due to fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs alone. Counterfeiting has serious economic impacts as well. A report conducted by the Confederation of Tanzanian Industries (CTI) concluded that Tanzania was losing between 15 to 25 percent of the total domestic tax revenues due to counterfeit products.

 

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 Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) service 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 also protects products across multiple industries, including personal care, automotive aftermarket parts and electrical cables.

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 healthcare and #7 overall by Fast Company Magazine. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, Sproxil has operations in India, Ghana (serving West Africa), Kenya (serving East Africa), 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.

 

About the Human Development Innovation Fund

The Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) is a £30 million, five-year programme funded by the United Kingdom Government. HDIF seeks to catalyse the development, testing and scaling of innovative models of service delivery, use of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), and product solutions in health, education and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene). The intended impact of HDIF is improved human development outcomes for poor people in Tanzania, with a focus on non-state actors and the effective utilization of public private partnerships.

 

 

 

Fake Automotive Parts: The Rising Problem

counterfeit car parts

Never judge a book by its cover is a very apt phrase for the automotive world given the level of counterfeit sophistication that exists in this industry. Fake airbags, tires, spark plugs, and oil filters are just a few of the many illicit auto parts gaining popularity in the last few years.

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year; that’s about 3,287 deaths a day globally. They stated that “unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.”

One of the top ten causes of car accidents is defective automobile parts, which could be as a result of counterfeit parts such as airbags malfunctioning during use. The issue is not only seen within the borders of emerging markets: developed markets also see their fair share of counterfeit automotive parts primarily because exports can come from the same sources.

Additionally, while it may be easier to spot counterfeit luxury products, the same rules do not necessarily apply for automotive parts. Automotive part counterfeiters can fool even the most expert auto repair specialists into using fake parts. With lower costs, lower standards, and features indistinguishable to their genuine counterparts, fake automotive parts are a lucrative but deadly business.

Dangers of counterfeit auto parts

Fake auto parts are not like fake purses; real danger can be associated with their use:

  • Fake auto parts are generally substandard, which can put the consumer in harm’s way
  • Use of fake auto parts may not fit the car’s specifications and can lead to more mechanical complications with the vehicle and potentially cost more to fix
  • Sale of counterfeit versions causes an economic problem for the businesses in the automotive industry and consumer trust in their current products can decline from negative experiences with fake products

danger of counterfeit auto parts

How to spot a fake automotive part

  • The pricing does not match the typical online price listed. If the part you were sold is typically much cheaper than the Manufacturer Retail Price (MRP, which can be found on the brand’s website), it may be an indication of a possible fake product
  • The packaging of the part appears to be low quality. The level of thickness of the packaging material may provide a hint as to the product’s quality level. Even if you are not installing this part by yourself, it is better to re-confirm with the auto specialist by asking to see the packaging. This extra step could save your life
  • If you have an old part that you would like to replace, compare it to the new one you are replacing it with. Are they similar? If not this is an indication this is a counterfeit product as well. Note that the look of parts may change a bit over time depending on the manufacturer. Check with the manufacturer for more information

 What can be done?

  • Original manufacturers should increase consumer education about fakes and publish information on their websites that will help consumers distinguish the original from the fakes
  • Auto-retail shops should have an established purchasing method that guarantees genuineness. Shops should also audit their suppliers to ensure that the products are coming from a legitimate, legal source
  • Technological solutions like Sproxil should be incorporated into their business processes as it helps everyone in the distribution process authenticate the products; even the end consumer can verify that what they have is genuine simply by using their mobile phone