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HP Fights Counterfeit Drugs with Global Authentication Service

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Sep 2011
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Hewlett-Packard (HP; Palo Alto, CA, USA) has adapted one of its technologies to create a cloud-based track-and-trace solution that aims to stem the worldwide problem of counterfeit and stolen drugs – a US$75 billion black market that claims as many as 700,000 lives each year.

The HP Global Authentication Service allows pharmaceutical companies to monitor the movement of products through their global supply chains with a much higher degree of accuracy. This helps protect consumers against dangerous or ineffective drugs, and enables pharmaceutical companies to protect their revenue and intellectual property. The service, which runs on scalable, cloud-based technology, can also be deployed in other industry sectors, offered in any geographical region, and incorporated into an existing drug production system.

The HP Global Authentication Service works in conjunction with HP’s global printing partners, who are able to print quality labels in high volumes very efficiently even when required to do so in some of the world’s most remote locations. The service’s underlying technology engine was originally developed by HP Labs to monitor goods in the HP supply chain, and was later adapted for use in product recalls in the food industry. Most recently, it has been adapted and deployed in collaboration with the African nonprofit social enterprise mPedigree (Accra, Ghana) to track, trace, and authenticate a range of life-saving medications in Nigeria and Ghana, with a rollout planned for more countries later this year.

“HP technology is not only providing commercial benefits to our clients, but also is helping to save lives,” said Prith Banerjee, senior vice president of research and director of HP Labs. “The success to date with mPedigree, and subsequent commercialization of our Global Authentication Service, highlights how valuable social innovation initiatives can be in helping bring innovative service offerings to the market.”

The service will be initially implemented in India, due to the phenomenal growth of the pharmaceutical industry, which as of 2009, was estimated at $21.04 billion. However, while the country is a leading manufacturer and exporter of high-quality generic and patent drugs, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD; Paris, France) has also ranked the country as the largest source of counterfeit medicine, with 75% of counterfeit drugs worldwide having some origins in India.

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Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

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