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May 02, 2012

Sproxil to Use IBM's Cloud to Offering Medication Identification Service to Pharmacies

By Narayan Bhat, TMCnet Contributor

Sproxil, Inc. has agreed to use IBM’s cloud to offer its product verification service to pharmaceutical consumers in the emerging markets.

Sproxil’s verification technology allows consumers to ascertain if the medicine they have borrowed is genuine or counterfeit.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company says its pharmaceutical clients, such as Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, have already been able to combat counterfeiting by using its technology solution known as – Mobile Product Authentication (MPA).

Sproxil tells its clients to attach a scratch-off label with a unique code to each package of medication. Upon purchase, consumers scratch the label and see the code, which they then send through a free text message to a telephone number provided on the package.

Seconds later, they receive a reply that confirms whether the medication is genuine or counterfeit.

Counterfeit drugs are a big headache in developing countries, where 25 to 50 percent of medicines are believed to be counterfeit. This fake drug market costs the industry $75 billion a year and killing many innocents lives in Africa.

Following the deal, Sproxil’s authentication service will henceforth run on IBM’s (News - Alert) cloud.

Sproxil is also using IBM's ILOG Elixir software, which provides rich visuals such as advanced charts and graphics. Using these and other new capabilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers will be able to better manage and analyze transaction data in real time.

Sproxil's new portal featuring ILOG will be launched during the second quarter of 2012.

"Many of our clients are in locations where high-speed Internet connectivity is unreliable or nonexistent," said Sproxil Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ashifi Gogo. "Through our work with IBM, we can enable our clients to render charts with high-speed, even in low-bandwidth situations.”

According to World Health Organisation, as many as 700,000 Africans die annually from consuming fake anti-malarial or tuberculosis drugs.

According to Sproxil, a large number of pharmaceutical manufacturers around the world – including several of the top 10 as well as small firms – seek its service to help consumers identify their medication.

A venture capital fund, Acumen Fund, has invested in Sproxil, hoping that its authentication technology will see high demand in the days ahead.

Edited by Braden Becker

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