India to see global rollout of HP track-and-trace tool for sniffing out fake drugs


Indian telecom players help implement the solution in Africa

Hewlett Packard has chosen India to roll out a cloud-based track-and-trace solution to fight the global problem of counterfeit and stolen drugs, which is estimated to claim 700,000 lives every year fuelling an illegal $75 billion global industry Known as Global Authentication Service, it allows pharmaceutical companies to monitor the movement of products through their global supply chains with a much higher degree of accuracy. This helps protect consumers against dangerous or ineffective drugs and enables pharmaceutical companies to protect their revenue and intellectual property from the growing black market.
The service is initially being launched in India due to the phenomenal growth in the country’s pharmaceutical industry, which also is seeing the development of a parallel counterfeit drug market. The service, which runs on scalable, cloud-based technology, also can be deployed in other industry sectors, offered in any geographical region and incorporated into an existing drug production system.
The underlying technology engine was developed by the company’s central research arm, HP Labs and the HPSoftware Professional Services Cloud Services Innovation Centre as an internal tool to monitor goods in HP’s supply chain. It was later adapted for use in the pharma app.
The solution was most recently deployed in collaboration with the African nonprofit social enterprise mPedigree to track, trace and authenticate a range of life-saving medications in Nigeria and Ghana, with a rollout planned for more countries later this year. Indian telecom partners Airtel and Tata Indicom partnered the mPedigree intitiative.
Says Prith Banerjee, senior vice president, Research, and HP Labs’ director: “HP technology is not only providing commercial benefits to our clients, but also is helping to save lives. The success to date with mPedigree and subsequent commercialization of our Global Authentication Service highlights how valuable social innovation initiatives can be in helping bring innovative service offerings to the market.”
India’s pharmaceuticals industry was estimated at $21.04 billion. Till 2009. While India is a leading manufacturer and exporter of high-quality generic and patent drugs, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ranked the country as the largest source of counterfeit medicine, with 75 percent of counterfeit drugs worldwide having some origins in India.

In a related development IANS reports, Aug 5,  that three smugglers from India are among a group of five busted in what has been dubbed 'Operation Liquid Dragon', one of the biggest ephedrine rings operated out of the US by a Mexican drug cartel. Link to story at MSN :  
HP mPedigree resources:
“Background on Indian Pharmaceutical industry,” Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, July 2010.  
“Standard and Counterfeit Medicines,” World Health Organization Fact sheet 

SEE a video for a few days  in our Tech Video site on the mPedigree experiment

Aug 6 2011