The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has given January 2013 as deadline to all pharmaceutical companies in the country to comply with the new technology of putting a scratch card on their drugs to stop imitation.
The technology will allow consumers to easily detect fake anti-malaria drugs by texting the scratch number to a certain number through SMS text messages to verify authenticity of the drug.
Addressing a press conference at the weekend in Abuja, the Deputy Director, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of NAFDAC, Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, said from January 2013 Nigerians should reject any drug that has no scratch number.
Jimoh said, “NAFDAC has launched the Mobile Authentication Services (MAS). This technology has put the power of detecting counterfeit regulated products in the hands of more than 80 million Nigerians with cell phone thereby enrolling them in the fight against counterfeiting.”
He said one of the cutting-edge technologies that would apply is the Mobile Authentication Services (SMS TEXT messaging), which would ensure that the company that buy into it would have scratch numbers (PIN) on their products which consumer would text to a specific number to get instant result to know if its original.
According to him, consumers are to text the PIN on the scratch tablet to 38353 to simply detect if the drug is fake or original.
Jimoh said the January deadline would affect only anti-malaria products, while the deadline for all antibiotic drugs is March 2013.