Chekkit App set to tackle fake drugs in Africa

Check the authenticity of the medicine you consume with the Chekkit App. What is counterfeit medicine? The definition encompasses an array of meaning, some of which are: any drug which contains harmful or inactive ingredients, substances composed of the correct active ingredient but the wrong dosage, stolen medicine from any accredited retail or pharmaceutical manufacturing company and the trade of expired drugs.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1 million people fall victim to the counterfeit drug trade, annually. Till now, the fake drug industry continues to make exponential coverage in the African markets and there seems to be no real effort to extinguish the devastation caused by the illicit drug trade. In 1990 and again in 2009, Nigeria witnessed a loss of over a hundred children on both occasions, when a teething drug for babies was tainted with an industrial strength chemical, usually found in antifreeze and brake fluid. Can the counterfeit drug trade be stopped?

With the increased popularity of online transaction and the intricacy of pharmaceutical supply chains, tracking fakes have reached near impregnable heights. Policy makers and international institutions, have tried a number of tactics to curb the rise of the illicit drug trade but the situation has been trying and the progress, slow. Dora Akunyili the former director of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria, battled with the illicit drug industry for years shutting down unlicensed medicine vendors but later pivoted to training, licensing and regulating illegal drug traders when she became the target of multiple assassinations. In recent times, however, several tech start ups have come up with more efficient and innovative efforts to truncate the the counterfeit drug system.

One rising African tech firm, Chekkit, offers an easy solution for both the end users and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. For the end users, Chekkit is a mobile app and SMS platform used to confirm the authenticity of a drug quickly via a unique pin and QR code printed behind a silver seal on drug packets, blisters or palettes which must be scratched in order to be used. Essentially, the codes will be generated same way, pre-paid airtime is generated but kept secure by cryptography and blockchain technology, thus codes can only be authenticated via the Chekkit app and Chekkit ussd number. Thereafter, the user is then automatically navigated to watch and listen to animated instructions on the to use of medication in local languages. Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies on the other hand will benefit from the indepth supply chain management insights through Chekkit’s track and trace system.

Interested in protecting your health or your company? Signup on the Chekkit website to be the first to receive updates on when Chekkit app will be launched.

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