The program combines mobile phones, scratch-off drug labels and text messaging into a simple, effective way for consumers in places like Accra to find out if the medicines they purchase are the real deal or counterfeit.mPedigree: Putting Safety into Consumers' Hands (Thanks, Alex!)
Here's how their method works: mPedigree provides pharmaceutical manufacturers with specially coded labels, which are affixed to individually packaged medicines. At the drugstore counter, the purchaser scratches off a label to reveal a unique code, which he or she texts to a four-digit number. An automated service looks up the code in a database. On the spot, the consumer gets a reply message indicating whether the drug is genuine or fake.
The idea puts drug authentication into the hands of consumers, "who are the ones with the most to lose," Gogo points out. By empowering end users, he aims to ultimately create safer pharmaceutical distribution networks throughout the developing world."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.