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South America and Africa Employ Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies to Save Lives

Responding to the ongoing cases of counterfeiters in their countries, Argentinian and Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturers are installing anti-counterfeiting solutions in their products.

Gador Laboratories, located in Buenos Aires, is deploying a radio frequency identification (RFID) solution to track products and pallets, after a month-long pilot. The system has three levels of security with item-level RFID tags, carton tags, and pallet tags in order to track medicine individually and while mass shipping, reports RFID Journal.

Gador develops and manufactures medications in four locations in Argentina, selling 2 million units of pharmaceutical products on a monthly basis. “Our primary objective is anti-counterfeiting,” says Ricardo Jellinek, Gador’s director of technology and operations.

Argentineans have suffered at the hands of a large-scale counterfeit medications scam that infiltrated the country’s union medical centers, which provide medicine and care for union employees, the majority of those employed in Argentina. The two year investigation has involved the distribution of counterfeit cancer, hemophilia and HIV medication, as well as the murder of several pharmacists implicated in the conspiracy.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, Janseen-Cilag Pharmaceuticals, is introducing a national anti-counterfeit Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) to protect the medicines it manufacturers, report The Sun News Online.

MAS using Sproxil technology to provide a scratch card with a one-time use code that can be verified for authenticity by a mobile phone text message.

Janssen-Cilag Area General Manager, Mr. Fady Khayat, added: “We think that is the best thing to have happened in the war against counterfeiting, which is 30 to 40 per cent more prevalent in developing than developed countries.”

Deputy President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo, said, “Counterfeit and fake drug business is gradually becoming the most lucrative and attractive illicit business for criminals to embrace in our society today. Hard drug trafficking for obvious reasons has become a more risky venture to embrace in Nigeria thus motivating a drift towards counterfeiting and faking of drugs.”

Nigerian citizens have, like the Argentineans, suffered at the hands of fake drug hawkers who have heavily infiltrated the markets and pharmacies of Nigeria as reported by CBS News.

By S. Imber

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