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Article | May 6, 2011
Mobile phone technology used for Rx authentication, ordering prescriptions
Whether for brand authentication of medications in Africa or Rx orders in the U.S., companies such as GSK, Sproxil, and Walgreens are focusing on consumer-patients.
What will they think of next? In the medical/pharmaceutical world, “they” are employing mobile phone technology on a global basis to help improve patient healthcare. For example, a March 9 mobihealthnews article reported, “GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with Sproxil to use its Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) codes, which is a text messaged-based drug verification system, in Nigeria, according to a report from SecuringPharma.com.” The technology allows patients to scratch off a code on the prescription package, and then use their mobile phone to scan that code to confirm or deny the authenticity of the packaged product. “This is the first foray into SMS-enabled pharmaceutical verification for GSK, according to the report, and if it’s successful the company is likely to roll it out to other products and other markets in Africa,” said the mobihealthnews story. A recent $1.8 million investment by Acumen Fund “aims to help Sproxil build its sales teams in the U.S. and Nigeria; to begin Sproxil’s expansion into India and Kenya; and to provide further improvements to the technology.” Watch a CNN video on the technology here. Mobile phone technology is also being used by Walgreens patients to “renew prescriptions by taking a photo of the bar code on a pill bottle using a smartphone, or by just keying in the prescription code,” said a report on medGadget, the “internet journal of emerging medical technology.” Recent television commercials have also touted this capability, which literally puts prescription ordering and authentication capabilities into the hands of consumer-patients.
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