Tobinco, a leading West African pharmaceutical conglomerate; mPedigree, a multinational technology company with a social mission; and Bliss GVS, one of India’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, have announced a new partnership to support regional efforts to boost the quality of malaria medicines and patient-education.
The agreement comes in the wake of the PREVENT initiative in Ghana, which is an undertaking by the umbrella pharmaceutical association in the West African country to broaden access to new technologies that can suppress the spread of counterfeits and empower patients.
Many studies suggest that poor quality malaria medicines may account for more than 25% of all the malaria medicines in major West African countries. Other studies have flagged the misuse of medicines due to patient ignorance.
According to the WHO, more than 500,000 people die annually in Africa from malaria, even after massive progress in managing the epidemic in the last two decades. Many of these deaths are due to problems with medicine use.
The new partnership among Tobinco, Bliss GVS and mPedigree could thus lead to tens of thousands of lives saved from potential death. A conservative estimate of lives that will be improved annually is two million.
As part of the partnership, the two pharma companies will link their pharmaco vigilance activities to the independent PREVENT programme, greatly improving transparency and accountability on product quality.
They will also empower their patients to validate the compliance of their products with world-class standards through scratch-offs on each pack, a unique ID for every dose, and a free text message to shortcode 1393 on all major mobile networks in the region. Well known anti-malarial brands like Lonart will benefit from this enhanced quality assurance.
mPedigree’s award-winning Goldkeys technology provides the infrastructure for these efforts.
Dennis Sena Awitty, Executive Secretary of the PREVENT initiative, described the development as a “resounding vindication of the PREVENT programme as envisaged by the Pharmaceutical Society”.
Bernard Boateng, Regulatory Affairs Head at Tobinco, described the pharma conglomerate’s commitment to quality as “complete and total, and the only sustainable competitive advantage we have in the market today”.
Gagan Harsh, General Manager of Bliss GVS, explained his company’s decision to support PREVENT and adopt Goldkeys was motivated by the “clear-eyed awareness of all parties that whilst technology is important, it is the shared values of the health community around the importance of providing affordable access to the best available treatments for the masses that can truly make a difference, a vision that inspires Bliss GVS’ every action and investment”.
Selorm Branttie, Strategy Director at mPedigree remarked: “mPedigree is proud that its Goldkeys technology has found strong legitimacy within the industry as the go-to platform when the imperative is to protect both lives and profits with deserving zeal”.
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