Counterfeit drugs are a massive global problem. The UN estimates the worldwide trade in fake pharmaceuticals to be upwards of $500 billion. Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly in the developing world, die each year because they don’t get the medication they thought they were getting. But what if there were an easy, cheap way for those buying the medications to validate their authenticity? And what if that system used a tool that most people in the developing world had close to hand — a cell phone? Well, that’s where a company called Sproxil comes in. Sproxil provides a scratch-off authentication label attached to medication. At the point of sale, a customer can send a free text message via short-code to a number provided on the label. And in just seconds, they’ll receive a message back either authenticating the drug, or warning the consumer that it might be fake. We’ll have an interview with Sproxil’s 28 year-old founder, Ashifi Gogo, who is himself from Ghana in West Africa. Here are a few links for that story:
We’ve also got a great interview about some work done by our friends at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. They got an inside look at some hacking done by the Chinese against Indian websites. We speak with Rafal Rohozinski, of the Ottawa-based SecDev Group. Rohozinski worked on the report, called Shadows in the Cloud: Investigating Cyber Espionage 2.0.
Here are some other links of interest from the ‘cast:
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