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UAE-Based EvoTeq Launches SmartTrack to Curb Influence of Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

12 June, 2017
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Counterfeit prescription drugs are a serious problem that is roiling the global pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. With an increasing percentage in the global prescription drug market, the $200 billion illegal industry is a menace to global health. Contrary to what many people believe, counterfeit drugs will not just fail to treat illnesses, they can cause dangerous complications that are much more serious than the illness they were originally supposed to treat.

Despite the extensive collaborative efforts of the World Health Organization and Interpol to crackdown on the illicit trade, the problem seems to be getting worse. With conventional solutions failing to deliver the desired results, a more innovative approach to the problem was needed. 

An Unconventional Solution to a Pressing Problem

With the goal of addressing logistical, healthcare, educational and other complex problems facing the MENA region, the Sharjah-based environmental management company Bee’ah has launched a new digital solutions company: EvoTeq. The new company focuses on improving people's lives by applying digital technology to everyday situations. During its launch event, EvoTeq announced its take on the counterfeit drug problem with its new platform SmartTrack.

“The range of benefits that SmartTrack offers is undeniable. The supply of counterfeit drugs by illegal agencies have contaminated the legitimate supply chain for too long, and has put countless lives at risk,” said Bee’ah CEO Khaled Al Huraimel at the platform’s launch. “Through the application of SmartTrack, the pharmaceutical industry will finally be able to acquire actionable data and curb these activities to ensure the well-being of people. This platform can also help to identify shortages and over-supply in the supply chain to ensure that drugs are available when and where they are most needed.”

SmartTrack offers a simple yet ingenious solution to help prevent the counterfeit prescription drug flood. Powered by SAP, SmartTrack's live tracking traces prescription drugs throughout the entire supply chain, from manufacturing to the end user. Every government-authorized drug manufacturer receives an internationally certified GS1 barcode that is insusceptible to counterfeiting. Every drug pack will have an encrypted barcode that contains information about the manufacturer, location, production date and batch number.

When scanned at selling outlets, SmartTrack will run the information against its secure database to ensure the drug's legitimacy. If the prescription drug’s barcode information did not match SmartTrack’s, it is deemed a counterfeit. Similar solutions were simply not possible merely a few years ago due to technology limitations. 

An Easy to Implement Solution

In addition to working with drug manufacturers and sellers, SmartTrack will also introduce a mobile app for the end users. They can use the app to check for a prescription drug’s authenticity even when buying from an outlet that does not yet support SmartTrack. Similar technologies are often limited by the vendors’ adaption rate. However, the flexible use options that SmartTrack offers will definitely make wide-scale implementation easier and faster. 

Imbedding such a holistic solution will enable full control over the entire supply chain, from manufacturing to the end client. Having this kind of control would eliminate the problem of counterfeit drugs being added somewhere along the supply chain of authentic drugs and contaminating the market with such dangerous products.

If successful in the UAE, it will be only a matter of time before SmartTrack is implemented in neighboring countries, solving a problem that was not so long ago unsolvable. 

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Tags Counterfeit prescription drugs United Arab Emirates EvoTeq SmartTrack Health technology