Efficency of mobile authentication service technology on phase 1 enabled drug products – a preliminary study
Background: Several anti-counterfeiting technologies have been deployed worldwide to eradicate medicines counterfeiting in various countries. In Nigeria, the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) is an anti-counterfeiting technology implemented by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, which enables consumers to verify the authenticity of medicines via a mobile phone short message service (SMS).
Objectives: This study investigated the presence of MAS codes on medicines mandated by NAFDAC to have the code and a preliminary assessment of MAS efficiency was conducted.
Methods: The efficiency of the MAS was assessed by collecting medicines included in the MAS scheme from pharmacies and other drug outlets in Mushin, Orile, and Shomolu local government, Lagos State. The MAS codes on the medicines were sent to the associated MAS service provider in order to evaluate their response time.
Results: Of the twenty- four brands of antimalarial drugs evaluated, 79.2% had MAS codes inscribed on their packs while 60% of the antibiotic brands evaluated possessed MAS codes (n=25). The average efficiency of Mobile Authentication Service technology was 0.83, with medicines with codes registered by Sproxil having the least efficiency (0.57). MAS' codes registered by PharmaSecure, UBQ-t/Kezzler, and M-Pedigree had efficiency of 1.
Conclusion: The findings of this study revealed that some brands antimalarial and antibacterial drugs available in the Nigeria drug market still do not have MAS technology inscribed on them and efficiency of Mobile Authentication Service is directly a function of the competence of the service providers authorized to manage this service.
Keywords: Anti-counterfeit technology, Mobile Authentication Service, NAFDAC