The Ministry of Health and Social Assistance in the Dominican Republic has developed a smartphone app that can be used by the public to report suspect drugs, foods and other products.
The DigemApps app – which will be made available via the Google Play store – will allow consumers to anonymously report products that they believe may be counterfeit, fraudulent or not meeting health and quality standards directly to the authorities. They will also be able to upload pictures of the suspect goods and each report will be tagged with GPS coordinates.
The report will be forwarded to the Directorate General for Medicines, Food and Health Products which will carry out an inspection of the retail establishment and – if warranted - impose penalties.
Health minister Altagracia Guzmán Marcelino (pictured) said that if used to its full potential the app could create a citizen army that would have a dramatic impact on the circulation of illict and substandard good in the country.
The app is just one part of the Dominican Republic's Digital Republic initiative, a set of policies and actions introduced last year to promote the use of information and communication technologies in services provided by government services to Dominican citizens.