GSK, Sproxil anti-counterfeit programme wins award

Sproxil, GSK message on phoneSproxil and GlaxoSmithKline have won an Institute for Safe Medication Practices Cheers award for their anti-counterfeit medicines programme in Nigeria, which makes use of unique codes on antibiotic packs that can be verified by text message.

The Cheers awards honour organisations and companies that have set a standard of excellence in the prevention of medication errors and adverse events.

The programme got underway with a pilot in February 2011 in which one of GSK's antibiotic products - Ampiclox (ampicillin plus cloxacillin) had Sproxil's authentication codes added to blister packs via a scratch-off panel.

A person could send the code via a text message to a toll-free phone number operated by Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), where the code would be checked against a list of actual codes.  The mobile service would then text back with a verification - or otherwise - to the consumer.

The award was presented at an event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 4.

Following the success of the pilot, GSK and Sproxil have rolled text-messaging verification programmes out to other products and countries in east Africa, including Tanzania and Kenya. In the latter instances the technology underlying the systems has been supplied by Kezzler, another vendor company.

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