ProCheck debuts text message verification of drugs in Pakistan

ProCheck imageStart-up company ProCheck has started protecting medicinal products in Pakistan from counterfeiting using SMS verification technology.

The company has deployed serialized codes on packs of medicines sold in Pakistan by local drugmaker Ferozsons Laboratories, focusing initially on several products for high blood pressure and diabetes.

According to an agreement signed by the two companies last year, ProCheck will apply its codes to up to 35m drug units, helping Ferozsons become the first pharma company in Pakistan to use serialization to protect customers from counterfeit medicines.

Each of the packs bears a unique code that can be texted to a number (9900) in order to get confirmation within a few seconds of whether the code - and by extension the medicine pack - is authentic or fake.

This approach has already been deployed in a number of countries by other vendor companies, notably mPedigree, Sproxil, PharmaSecure and Kezzler.

In 2010, Pakistan's Interior Ministry estimated that the prevalence of counterfeit or 'spurious' medicines in the country's supply chain could be as high as 45 to 50 per cent, distributed mainly through a huge network of an estimated 100,000 unlicensed sellers.

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