Sproxil provides innovative mobile technology to ensure purchased medicines are not stolen or counterfeit by allowing consumers to verify product genuineness within seconds through a text message.
Focus: Information Technology, Health
Geographic Area of Impact: Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Pakistan
Model: Social Business
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: Number of verifications over 14 milllion (2015)
Annual Budget: USD $ 3.5 million (2013)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 97%
The global counterfeit drug market is a serious threat to public health worldwide. Up to 30% of medicines sold in developing countries are counterfeit or substandard. The global counterfeit drug market is estimated to be USD $200 billion. Moreover, counterfeit drugs have led to a significant number of deaths globally – annually, 700,000 deaths have resulted from inauthentic drugs for malaria and tuberculosis alone. Counterfeit drugs have also contributed to increased drug resistance in treating serious global diseases.
Innovation and Activities
Sproxil has developed a Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) solution that enables consumers to verify the pharmaceutical product they are buying is genuine. Consumers use a scratch card, similar to those used to replenish cellular talk-time, to reveal a one-time-use code on pharmaceutical products. They then send the code via SMS to a “911 for fake drugs” number which is identical on all cellular networks within a country. A response is dispatched immediately from Sproxil’s servers, indicating whether the drug is real or fake. If a fake product is found, consumers are given a hotline number to call and report it. In addition to pharmaceutical products, Sproxil protects products across multiple industries, including automotive parts, beauty & personal care, agrochemicals, and FMCG. These and many other industries are significantly impacted by counterfeiting and their consumers are put in danger when using knock-off versions of real products.
Sproxil’s simple, efficient, and cost-effective method capitalizes on technologies that are readily accessible and easily understood by all levels of society – mobile phones and scratch cards. Sproxil has set up Africa’s first national, mobile-based anti- counterfeit service in Nigeria and has already sold millions of anti-counterfeit labels.
Ashifi founded Sproxil in 2009 and currently serves as the company’s CEO. Recently, Sproxil was named the world’s most innovative company in health care by Fast Company and the seventh most innovative worldwide, beating 99 out of 100 Fortune 100 companies. Ashifi received a Clinton Foundation Global Initiative Outstanding Committed Award and this led Sproxil to win a grant from the Unites States Agency for International Development. Ashifi holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and a BA in Mathematics and Physics from Whitman College. He is Dartmouth’s first-ever PhD Innovation Fellow.
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