Drug Serialization in Brazil

Drug serialization is the process of identifying a medicine with a unique serial number that can be shared with others if necessary. It helps to track the movement of drugs within supply chains. Last year Brazil laid out a three-year comprehensive plan using serialization to stop the counterfeit drug market there.

On January 14 2009, law Nº 11.903 was passed that mandates drug manufacturers and distributors in Brazil implement track and trace drug serialization. It created the National System of Medications’ Control to oversee the production, marketing, and distribution of medicines amongst other controls. Control will be by means of a serialized identification system including electronic capture, storage and transmission.

The law was scheduled to be implemented in steps over a 3 year timeframe to adequately prepare for the changes and stipulated the following deadlines:

  • 2010 – Manufacturers and Suppliers
  • 2011 – Purchasers, Products and Transportation and Logistics
  • 2012 – Consumer/patient, Prescription and Doctors

However the scale and breadth of such a massive undertaking have already caused delays and the 2010 deadline seems to be slipping. Still we strongly support these efforts as moving in the right direction.

Drug serialization will help patients to get authentic drugs and medical devices and reduce the incidents of counterfeits. Pharmaceutical companies will also benefit as serialization will ultimately reduce logistics costs help to avert theft at various levels of their supply chains.

India’s Drug Counterfeiting Menace

Drug counterfeiting has reached a level that threatens to damage the entire medical system and pharmaceutical industry.  Reuters recently reported that counterfeiting drugs are now $200 billion a year global business. The condition is more severe in developing countries like India where networks of distributors and laboratories making counterfeit drugs are strong.

In the past few months the Food and Drug Administration of India conducted several raids and apprehended numerous people involved in fake drug trafficking. Even in the cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai pharmacists are selling fraudulently mislabeled and substandard drugs without any fear. The drugs were often found to be contaminated with paints, chalk powder and other impurities. Some drugs were degraded because of poor storage or they were repackaged after expiry. Several supposedly life saving drugs and antibiotics were without active ingredients.

According to Dr. Roger Bate, Legatum Fellow in Global Prosperity, “Since drugs made in India are sold around the world, the country’s substandard drug trade represents a grave public health threat that extends far beyond the subcontinent. Unless serious steps are taken to improve the quality of the Indian drug supply, the global spread of unsafe pharmaceuticals will persist.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is about $10 billion and some sources estimate that 10% of it is producing sub-standard drugs. Thousands of people die every year after consuming counterfeit or substandard drugs. In parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America it is estimated that 30% of all medicines imported from India and China are substandard. Fake drugs are a real threat to industry as well and are putting the goodwill of physicians and pharmaceutical companies at stake.

To stem the tide of counterfeit drugs concrete steps need to be taken at every level from manufacturers to distributors to regulatory authorities. The current anti-counterfeiting legislation in India has not stopped drug offenses. Penalties for making and selling fake drug are negligible compared to the profits. Huge profits drive more and more people to sell counterfeit drugs. Laws and regulations for selling narcotics like opium and cocaine are more severe thus encouraging criminals to manufacture counterfeit drugs rather than trade in narcotics.

Regulatory authorities need to be even more attentive.  Drug inspectors need to be more vigilant in carrying out their duties. Customers can help too and should be aware of new technologies that are in use to detect fake drugs.

Sproxil Selected By Entrepreneurs, Investors and Industry Experts as Boston’s “Smartest” Start-Up

Contact:
Amanda Griffith
Bumble PR
617-851-8335 (direct)
amanda@bumblepr.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPROXIL, INC. WINS BOSTON IBM SMARTCAMP EVENT

Company Selected By Entrepreneurs, Investors and Industry Experts as City’s “Smartest” Start-Up

Somerville, MA, June 3, 2010 — Sproxil, Inc. today announced that it has won IBM’s SmartCamp Boston, held on June 3, 2010. IBM’s SmartCamps bring together five start-ups with 25 world-class entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts for a single day to work to build a Smarter Planet. The objective of the program is help companies build an ‘investor ready’ commercial proposition to secure funding, with winners eligible for a three-month IBM mentorship program.

Sproxil’s Mobile Product AuthenticationTM (MPA) solution enables consumers to text message an item-unique code for a rapid response that confirms a brand’s genuineness. For example, in Nigeria, consumers purchase medications with a scratch card attached to the package.  They then scratch and text the unique numbers on the scratch card to a shortcode to instantly receive an SMS reply confirming the genuineness or fakeness of the product. To date, the company has coded more than 800,000 packages of Glucophage, used to treat diabetes.

“IBM’s SmartCamp provided a unique opportunity for Sproxil to gain valuable feedback from some of the industry’s greatest minds about our vision of using technology to help solve the world’s counterfeit pharmaceuticals problem,” said Ashifi Gogo, CEO of Sproxil, Inc. “Winning Boston’s event validates our  offering as an easy, simple-to-use solution that holds great promise for other industries as well. We look forward to continuing these strategic discussions in Dublin this November.”

Sproxil competed alongside myriad companies during this exclusive event, including the four other innovative start-up finalists – Sendsor, SkyMeter, Proxpro, and GIS Cloud – to take top honors in Boston. IBM SmartCamp events will also be held in Tel Aviv, London, Silicon Valley and Paris, with one winner from each city selected to travel to Dublin, Ireland this Fall to compete for the title of “The World’s Smartest Startup.”

About Sproxil

Sproxil, Inc., a privately backed organization, provides world-class brand protection for emerging markets through software and services that work anywhere there are mobile phones. Simple, easy to use and with no consumer capital investment, Sproxil offers a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting strategy for cash-based societies. Delivering automatic protection, simple labels and robust back-end analytics with its Mobile Product AuthenticationTM (MPA) solution, Sproxil enables consumers to text message an item-unique code for a rapid response that confirms a brand’s genuineness. Our solution also helps companies connect directly to their consumers through customized text message responses – such as disease management tips – and ads that specifically target those demographics with known buying behaviors. Learn more at www.sproxil.com.

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Sproxil + IBM Win Media Roundup (updated!)

We’re obviously very excited about our recent work at IBM’s Innovation Center. We’re not alone. Here is a media roundup of voices talking about Sproxil.

Xconomy (story here)

VentureBeat (story here)

The Street (story here)

Mass High Tech: Journal of New England Technology (story here)

Enterprise Ireland (story here)

BostInnovation (story here)

IBM SmartCamp Blog (story here)

PharmiWeb (story here)

Sproxil on the US Chamber of Commerce Blog

Catch our CEO on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce blog Chamber Post, with an introduction from Dr. Mark Esper, Executive Vice President, Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Esper notes:

Fortunately, the Obama Administration is working on America’s first-ever National IP Enforcement Strategy that has the potential to crack down on the counterfeiting and piracy that harms consumers, kills jobs, and impedes our economic resurgence. Enhancing our IP enforcement efforts is not only a bipartisan issue that enjoys enormous support on Capitol Hill, but it is also a critical factor in the country’s future that is endorsed by both business and labor. We look forward to learning more about the Obama Administration’s strategy to protect consumers and grow our economy when this plan is released in the coming weeks.

Sproxil Wins Two Awards at MITX

Contact:

Jessica Winston
MITX
617.871.2155 ext. 208
jessica@mitx.org
Amanda Griffith
Bumble PR
617-851-8335 (direct)
amanda@bumblepr.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPROXIL, INC. RECOGNIZED IN THE MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE CATEGORY AND WITH “PROMISE” AT THE 2010 MITX TECHNOLOGY AWARDS

Seventh Annual Awards Celebrates New England’s Most Inventive Technology Advancements

Cambridge, MA, June 3, 2010 — Sproxil, Inc. has been selected as a winner in the 7th Annual MITX Technology Awards in the Mobile Infrastructure category, in addition to receiving one of three PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Promise Awards. The program kicked off New England Innovation Month by lauding local development and implementation of technologies in the digital industry. Winners were announced in eleven categories, in addition to several “Best of” awards and PwC Promise Awards, at the ceremony attended by more than 350 industry professionals held on June 2nd at the Marriott Copley Plaza in Boston.

Simple, easy to use and with no consumer capital investment, Sproxil, a privately-held company, offers an anti-counterfeiting service for cash-based societies, one that can be used anywhere mobile phones exist. Its Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA) solution enables consumers to text message an item-unique code for a rapid response that confirms a brand’s genuineness and legitimacy.

“Often, people are focused on solutions that impact our own daily lives here in New England. Winning these prestigious awards for an international application will assist in our efforts to raise awareness for the importance of using technology to help save lives in developing nations,” said Ashifi Gogo, CEO of Sproxil. “As a young organization, we’re ecstatic to receive this recognition from our peers and we congratulate the other finalists for their equally impressive technologies and solutions.”

“The Finalists and Winners of the MITX Technology Awards are some of the most dynamic, creative thinking companies in the digital space, introducing solutions and advancements that embody what the Mass Tech Hub stands for – a hub of technology excellence, innovation and collaboration,” said Kiki Mills, president of MITX. “MITX advocates for their recognition and growth, as they are a vital contributor to the region’s economy and clout in the technology industry.”

The MITX Technology Awards program is sponsored through the generous support of: The Atom Group, Compete, DLA Piper, LEWIS PR, Onward Search, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Creative and Supporting partners also included: Command Identity and Brand Design, Corey Mechanic, Height&Hands, massAV, and VentureFizz.

For the complete list of winners and other information please visit the MITX Awards Web site.

About Sproxil

Sproxil, Inc., a privately backed organization, provides world-class brand protection for emerging markets through software and services that work anywhere there are mobile phones. Simple, easy to use and with no consumer capital investment, Sproxil offers a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting strategy for cash-based societies. Delivering automatic protection, simple labels and robust back-end analytics with its Mobile Product AuthenticationTM (MPA) solution, Sproxil enables consumers to text message an item-unique code for a rapid response that confirms a brand’s genuineness. Our solution also helps companies connect directly to their consumers through customized text message responses – such as disease management tips – and ads that specifically target those demographics with known buying behaviors. Learn more at www.sproxil.com.

About MITX
Established in 1996, The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) is the region’s premier professional organization for the Internet business and marketing industry. Reaching more than 7,500 professionals in New England, MITX is the community for thought leadership, building business relationships and professional training and development. Members of the MITX community take advantage of events, sponsorships, speaking opportunities and networking to make business connections and exchange ideas. With more than 60 events annually, MITX provides its members with the opportunity to promote their companies to targeted audiences and provides a valuable forum for networking with other likeminded peers to source potential business leads, partnerships, ideas, and funding. MITX is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. Visit us at www.mitx.org.

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Download as PDF. See our company profile at MITX.org.

NAFDAC Proof of Concept Results Online

We are pleased to announce the results of NAFDAC’s use of cell phones to fight fake drugs in Nigeria. We had a successful 100-day pilot and we’re now ready to scale up! If you are interested in the results, you may download the document here.

Update:

See the reaction from key industry voices.

In-PharmaTechnologist: “NAFDAC keen on new SMS anti-counterfeit results

SecuringPharma: “Sproxil completes Nigerian text message verification pilot