““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
New Technology Helps Travelers Spot Fake Drugs
A new technology can help ensure the safety of medications that sick travelers buy overseas. Mobile Product Authentication, developed by software company Sproxil, allows purchasers to use their mobile devices to send a unique code on the drug packaging to the manufacturer. The traveler receives an almost immediate response indicating whether the drug is real or fake. The company, which has offices in the U.S. and Nigeria, recently received a $1.8 million investment from the nonprofit Acumen Fund, whose goal is to fight poverty in South Asia and East Africa. The investment will be used to build sales teams in the U.S. and Nigeria, begin Sproxil’s expansion into India and Kenya and improve the technology.
Earlier this year, a report published by the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime showed that three in 10 pharmaceutical products found in Africa, Asia and Latin America were counterfeit, while 50 to 60 percent of medications in parts of Asia and Africa had too little or no active ingredients.