Kezzler and UBQT team up to fight drug counterfeits in Nigeria

Combination codeNorway's Kezzler has formed an alliance with UBQT Ltd of Nigeria on a platform for verifying medicines using text messaging.

Kezzler brings its SSP product traceability platform to the table - which has already been used to protect a number of pharmaceutical products including Roche cancer medicines - while UBQT is providing mobile integration and aggregation services.

The combined offering has been approved by Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Control (NAFDAC), according to a Kezzler spokesman, who noted that NAFDAC currently mandates the serialisation of antimalarial drugs within the country and is expected to extend this requirement to other products such as antibiotics.

Consumers in Nigeria will be familiar with the idea of verifying medicines via text messaging as other providers - notably Sproxil - have been using the approach to help the public check the authenticity of medicines such as GlaxoSmithKline's antibiotic Ampiclox (ampicillin plus cloxacillin).

Another provider - PharmaSecure - said recently it had also won NAFDAC backing for its medicine authentication platform.

Earlier this year Kezzler unveiled a low-cost barcoding and serialisation offering for small- and medium-sized drugmakers trying to comply with new Indian legislation on barcoding of pharmaceutical exports.

The Indian Pharma Export Serialization (IPES) system allows companies to order codes through the Internet, link serial numbers to the batch data and other relevant information in accordance with GS1 guidelines, download them to a PC and proceed to direct package or label printing.

Other benefits of serialisation

Meanwhile, Kezzler has also chalked up successes outside of the anti-counterfeit (and pharma) spheres, recently applying its serialisation technology to GlaxoSmithKline's energy drink Lucozade.

The project involved serializing each bottle moving down the production line at a rate of 1,000 units per minute with a 12-digit alphanumeric code, which was then used for a consumer verification process as part of a lottery.

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