Like holograms, original track and trace technologies also help companies monitor the supply chain. Start-ups like Sproxil in Nigeria, mPedigree in Ghana, and Pharmasecure in India provide companies with bar codes or scratch pads that reveal a unique tracking number. The consumer then texts that number to the company providing the service to learn if his or her medicine is the real thing. India has now mandated that from next year on all exported products will require track and trace authentication systems, no doubt much of it provided by Pharmasecure.
Yet even with these technologies, dangerous products are still prevalent around the world and continue to slip into the U.S. But with the help of entrepreneurs, new solutions are likely to be developed so that dangerous medicines become a rare and tragic occurrence, rather than an ever-present threat.