Roche taps Kezzler for mobile authentication of medicines

Roche has joined the ranks of pharmaceutical multinationals empowering consumers to authenticate their own medicines by texting a 16-digit serial number printed on the pack to a central SMS number.

The drugmaker's 2010 annual report indicates that it recently engaged supply chain security experts Kezzler - a Norwegian company which specialises in serialisation, track-and-trace and related technologies - to help implement the project in India.

Kezzler provided the encryption software that enables consumers to verify that their medicine is genuine when they buy it using their mobile phone, according to the annual report. Each serial number can only be authenticated once, to prevent counterfeiters copying genuine codes in bulk.

Earlier reports indicate that the technology was applied initially to some of Roche's cancer medicines, and is being rolled out to other products in the drugmaker's portfolio.

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