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  One of the ways technology has become useful is in its use as a tool for detecting drug counterfeiting.
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It has been revealed that in Africa alone, counterfeit drugs kill as many as 100,000 people per year while it claims up to 1,000,000 people in the world. It is also known that drug counterfeiting has become a global scourge zapping a whopping $100 billion annually in the drug industry. One common method, adopted by some pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, for detecting counterfeit drugs is one where users have to scratch a PIN and text the code to a certain phone number to verify its authenticity. Despite this ‘scratch & text’ technique of detecting counterfeit drugs, it remains hard to detect and investigate counterfeit medicine. This is where RxAll, Nigeria and a US-based startup founded in 2016, has come in with their unique means of detecting counterfeit drugs with smart devices. RxAll’s approach involves using a device fitted with radio frequency identification, using radiofrequency tags to identify, secure drugs, and other related medical products. By three co-founders, Adebayo Alonge, Amy Kao, and Wei Liu, the startup created the device called the RxScanners that identifies the quality of prescription drugs within 20 seconds and displays the results on an IoS and Android app within seconds.
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According to the company, the RxScanner is a handheld authenticator with a proprietary molecular sensor that reads the sample spectra and send test results indicating the identity of the drug. At least two of the three co-founders, Amy and Adebayo, have been victims of counterfeit drugs in the past with Wei losing a family member in the experience. Alonge almost died from fake drugs, going into a coma for three weeks, after taking medicine that contained dangerous levels of diazepam. Therefore, getting this detection innovation off the ground has been a personal one for the founding team and the entire startup. So far, RxAll reports that the RxScanner device has serviced approximately 1 million patients in 2000 hospitals and pharmacies in West Africa alone. On 20th July, RxAll got additional $2.25 million funding, even though funding has been limited for healthcare startups in the entire healthcare industry, to expand its drug testing and counterfeiting technology across Africa. RxAll is prepared to grow in leaps and bounds as it maintains that the bulk of its customers and revenue is generated from Nigeria – Africa being the centre spot of drug counterfeiting. Featured Image Source: gheg-journal
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This article was first published on 30th July 2021


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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