Audience awareness and use of Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) in identifying fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria
This study examines the level of audience awareness of, and determining the effectiveness of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)’s use of, the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) in identifying fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria. The study, anchored on the Uses and Gratification Theory, posits that people actively seek out specific media to satisfy specific needs. The theory was used to facilitate the understanding of NAFDAC’s choice of MAS as a new strategy in identifying fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria. Mixed research methods (Survey, In-depth Interview and Focus Group Discussion) were used for this study. Data gathered from a total of 191 respondents in two communities (Warri and Ughelli) representing Delta State Nigeria were analyzed. Results from the study indicate that the audience level of awareness and use of MAS is relatively low and was considered ineffective in the studied areas due to the following reasons: low mobilization of the population especially in rural communities, poor network services, partial implementation of MAS among drug manufacturers and poor infrastructures. Based on the research findings, this study therefore recommends an increased level of awareness through a multi-media approach, improved network services, as well as getting all drug manufacturers registered for the issuance of MAS number so as to enhance the effective use of MAS in identifying fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria.
Keywords: Awareness, Use, Mobile Authentication Service, Fake Drugs, Sub-standard Drugs