Airtel partners Sproxil in anti-drug counterfeiting campaign

Posted: August 29, 2012 in general

Top telecommunications firm, Bharti Airtel, with operations in 17 countries across Africa, Tuesday, announced a partnership with United States-based company, Sproxil to combat the counterfeit drug market in Africa.

Sproxil’s Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution allows consumers to verify product genuineness within seconds through a text message, while Airtel will offer this service absolutely free to its users and not charge for any SMS based verification.

Sproxil’s service works by placing a scratch-off label on products, and then when consumers purchase a product, they scratch off the label to reveal a unique, random code. The code is then sent via SMS to a

country-specific Toll Free short code, and the consumer receives a reply almost instantly indicating whether the product is genuine or not.

“Our goal is to bring affordable and easily accessible health services to over 450 million people. The battle against counterfeit drugs is a huge step towards this goal.”  Beyers added “Whilst this agreement is a step in the right direction, I also believe that collaboration between all the stakeholders in the mobile health ecosystem is key to a successful and sustainable future.

“Building relationships with individual telecom companies and acquiring the short codes necessary for our MPA solution in each country can take a considerable amount of time – it slows down deployment,” said Dr. Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil CEO.

“By working with Airtel, we can get short codes in various countries different markets from just one company, streamlining the process and ‘turbo charging’ our expansion throughout the region.  For the consumers it’s a win-win – two advanced technologies working together:  Airtel’s network provides high quality, very affordable telecom service enabling consumers to take advantage of Sproxil’s brand protection solution, at no cost to them,” remarked Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel, Africa.

Airtel is a leader in mobile communications, providing services in 17 countries across Africa, which include; Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The partnership is designed to facilitate the deployment of Sproxil’s Mobile Product Authentification (MPA) solution throughout developing regions of Africa– markets where Airtel is entrenched as a leading telecommunications provider.

While Bharti Airtel Limited, headquartered in New Delhi, India, is a leading integrated telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa and ranks. amongst the top 5

mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers, with over 257 million customers across its operations at the end of June 2012, Sproxil, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States is a venture-backed, social enterprise that provides world-class brand protection services in emerging markets.

The Company’s Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution helps ensure purchased goods are not stolen or counterfeit by allowing consumers to verify product genuineness within seconds through a text message. Compatible with any tangible item, Sproxil’s solution is widely used by leading pharmaceutical companies to curb the multi-billion dollar counterfeit drug industry.

Sproxil has also penetrated non-pharmaceutical industries including personal care, automotive aftermarket and food supplements.

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