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Bright Simons, a Ghanaian social entrepreneur, developed a phone-based system called mPedigree to tackle the counterfeit drug problem. mPedigree is an anti-counterfeit ICT software application that seeks to empower the consumer so that they have a way of verifying their medication’s safety.

Program goals

To ensure and communicate the quality of all life-impacting products.

Key program components

mPedigree protects consumers from counterfeit drugs in regions with low literacy and low technical capacity. The innovative system allows buyers to verify the authenticity of medicines for free by text-messaging a unique code found on the product to a universal number. This request is routed to mPedigree’s servers and consumers receive a quick response to authenticate their purchase. This system saves the lives of poor people who are especially vulnerable to insecure drug supply chains, thus building confidence and trust in the healthcare system.

Since mPedigree was formally launched in Ghana in 2007, after the core technology was invented in 2005, the service has expanded to Nigeria and East Africa. As of the summer of 2011, it has expanded to India through a partnership with Themis Medicare and is in the early stages of a beta launch of the mPedigree service in Kenya in partnership with Universal Corporation Limited, a leading regional pharmaceutical player.