Big Data vs. Fraud: IBM Analytics Detect Counterfit Prescriptions

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Pharmaceutical companies like Sproxil are using IBM’s Big Data analytics and mobile computing to detect drug counterfeiting in emerging markets. Within seconds, users can verify the authenticity of prescriptions in developing countries, where 25 to 50 percent of medicines are believed to be counterfeit. Such fraud is believed to cost the industry at least $75 billion a year.

Sproxil’s pharmaceutical clients, such as Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, have been able to combat counterfeiting by using the company’s Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution to affix a scratch-off label with a unique code to each package of medication. Upon purchase, consumers scratch the label to reveal the code, which they then send via a free text message to a telephone number provided on the package. Within seconds, consumers receive a return text message from Sproxil letting them know if the medication is genuine.

Many of our clients are in locations where high-speed Internet connectivity is unreliable or nonexistent,” said Sproxil Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ashifi Gogo. “Through our work with IBM, we can enable our clients to render charts with high-speed, even in low-bandwidth situations. Through IBM’s cloud service, we are also able offer clients secure and reliable application availability no matter where they are located,” he said.

To make it easier for its clients to view and analyze this market data, Sproxil turned to IBM’s ILOG Elixir software, which provides rich visuals such as advanced charts and graphics. Using these and other new capabilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers around the world will be able to better manage and analyze petabytes of transaction data in real time. Now, pharmaceutical companies can more easily identify patterns in counterfeiting and deploy their resources accordingly. Sproxil’s new portal featuring ILOG will be launched during the second quarter of 2012.

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