U.S and Nigerian researchers are set to end fake drugs through novel technology.
A team, consisting of researchers from the United States (U.S.) and Nigeria, have been organized to identify and remove unlawful suppliers of drugs, through the novel technology, thereby enabling a reduction in the occurrence of adverse effects and illnesses derived from low-quality drugs. The team members include Prof. Chimezie Anyakora of Bloom Public Health, Nigeria; Dr. Elisa Maria Maffioli of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, U.S; and Dr. Marie C Montas, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, U.S.
According to the researchers, inspectors and pharmacies in Nigeria would retain the supply chain for citizens with the use of the RxScanner, if it is proven to be cost-effective. The development of the novel technology, RxScanner, a 10x cheaper and 5x portable detection solution, was for the purpose of decentralizing drug checking along the supply chain. Through the combination of proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI), algorithm models of drug spectral signatures, together with advanced spectroscopy, there will be an enablement of immediate drug material analysis, distinguishing sample materials instantly and within a few seconds.
Over 10 percent of drugs in developing countries are of low quality.
Prior to the development of the novel technology, available methods of laboratory analysis of drug samples have proved to be expensive, labor intensive, and time-consuming. Although, new mobile testing devices, for example, Mass Authentication Scratch Codes (MAS) and mini-labs, allows the detection of suspect samples in low-resource settings. However, they are not portable, are unable to give real-time data maps of drug flows, and do not aid the provision of a legally admissible unchangeable record with timestamps of identified bad drugs.
Prof. Anyakora, the Nigerian researcher and leader of the team, stated that this development aims at impacting over 200 million Nigerian residents. There will be a withdrawal of bad drugs from the markets, also to the benefit of the poorest. According to the research that is being made, there have been observations that over 10 percent of medicines that are available in developing countries are of extremely low quality – they are either counterfeit or substandard, and even degraded, leading to an estimation of over a million deaths yearly.
The pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria will grow to $4 billion in 10 years.
The pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria has been estimated to be worth about $2.5 billion in 2020 and is believed to expand to $4 billion in the next decade. The pharmaceutical market of the country is highly dependent on imports and has over 60 percent of its goods imported from India and China, while producing the remaining locally. With evidence from several studies, a large proportion of medicines in the country are either substandard or degraded. Examples are 17 percent of essential generic medicines and 30 percent of anti-malaria.
However, BPH and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), in a bid to curb the menace, are jointly working on a project with two major objectives – to authenticate a novel and cheaper technology (RxScanner), in comparison to the gold standard (TruScan RM Raman Analyser) in the market, through drug testing, supported by BPH; and to evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of the technology through the implementation of a randomized controlled trial. The organizations are working towards the protection and improvement of the health of Africans.
The quality of 1,000 drugs will be tested with the novel technology.
The Chief of Party for Bloom Public Health, Nigeria, added that with support from BPH, the quality of 1,000 drugs, purchased in pharmacies situated in six geo-political regions, will be tested. The regions include Kano, Yola, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Onitsha, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. Also supported by IPA, there will be a conduction of impact evaluation in 78 pharmacies. While the novel technology (RxScanner) will randomly provide half of them, the other half will serve as a control group with no implemented intervention. After all these are done, the aggregate effectiveness of the RxScanner will be added to the costs of implementation for the conduction of a Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA). The outcome would be the deciding factor on whether or not the technology is worth investing upon.
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The innovation of the RX scanner technology is a welcome development is very good in order to help know the quality of drugs produced especially in developing countries where most of this are viable.
This is really good. The RX scanner is an amazing technology. It would help take out bad drugs from the market, and help pharmaceutical companies grow. There are too many fake goods in the market, and it gets almost impossible to identify the authentic ones. So technologies likes this are needed.
This is a new development. If we can use the Rx scanner to scan drugs, we will be able to tell if they are fake or not. In Nigeria especially, it’s quite unfortunate we consume a lot of fake drugs with or without knowing. We really need to put a stop to this fake production and distribution of drugs.
This will help alot to afford take fake drug which is bad for health. With the help of this Rxscanner we can identify fake drug and those producing fake drug will be able to caught and get punished. it is good development in distribution of drugs
With the new developed RxScanner technology novel it will help us specially in Nigeria where counterfeit and degraded drugs filled up the market resulting to adverse effects and illnesses for whoever take the low quality drugs.
this is a welcome development. Hope will play our own card very well. It ensure us to know fake drugs. And also to identify people that is producing it
RxScanner is a cheap and portable detection solution for checking drugs along the supply chain.this shows that RxScanner will go a long way in reducing the number of counterfeit
Drugs being sold in pharmacies
This is definitely what we need in this country, the number of counterfeit drugs in the market now is alarming. I hope this RxScanner will do a good job
Hopefully this novel technology will work out, a whole lot of people have died and also gotten sick as a result of taking fake drugs.
RxScanner would help with quick identification of fake production and distribution of drugs. We need to put a stop to fake production and distribution of drugs because there are too many fake drug in the market.
According to the findings of a number of investigations, a significant amount of the nation’s pharmaceutical supply is of poor quality or has been adulterated.
I am so happy to hear this. With this RxScanner at least will reduce fake and substandard drugs from Nigeria. The system in Nigeria that some of these fake drugs will still find their way through. God help this country.
Following the completion of all of these steps, an overall cost-effectiveness analysis of the RxScanner will be carried out by adding the costs associated with its implementation to the RxScanner’s aggregate effectiveness.
With the help of the RxScanner, inspectors and pharmacies in Nigeria will be able to keep the supply chain intact for the country’s inhabitants.
The utilisation of a Rx scanner is really beneficial due to the fact that it will make it possible to lessen the number of unfavourable impacts and illnesses that are caused by low-quality pharmaceuticals.
Wonderful, drug testing that is backed by BPH; and to evaluate the effects and cost-effectiveness of the technology by putting it into practise in a randomised controlled study. Both of these goals are endorsed by BPH.
A lot of people pass away in Nigeria each year as a direct result of the poor quality of the medicines that are sold there. These drugs may be fake, fall short of industry standards, or have even been adulterated.
The initiative of regulating the authenticity of drug in Nigeria is long overdue because fake or substandard drug has really affect lots of people either killing them or do irreparable damage to their organ but with this new technology system,alot will be achieve in term of putting end to fake drug
I like this new idea, and the government should set strict rules regarding any one caught with fake drugs, so other people won’t go into it.
Nice one, Because there are so many counterfeit goods on the market, it is become increasingly difficult to determine which products are genuine. Therefore, technologies similar to this are required.
Thanks to RxScanner that will be use to detect counterfeit drugs in Nigeria. There are lot of fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria that this RxScanner will help us to detect and as such will drastically reduce counterfeit drugs completely.