Sub-Saharan African countries are cracking down on fake malaria medications that fail to treat the disease and have been linked to an estimated 116,000 deaths each year.
In Nigeria, the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration has launched a multi-pronged effort, including:
- Building relationships in India and China–-major sources of counterfeit drugs–-to step up inspections before export and to increase penalties for counterfeiters.
- Providing testing devices to border officials that allow customs workers to destroy the medicines before entering the country.
- Requiring registration numbers for authorized drugs.
The most mature digital anti-counterfeit technologies have proven to be mobile and RFID-based solutions, which enable robust authentication and track-and-trace.