Five Nigerian teenagers recently won first place in the junior division of the Technovation World Pitch Summit held in San Jose, California for a app they created to detect fake drugs. This app addressed the real life issue in Nigeria of fake drugs being administered. An exact number for how many fake drugs are administered in Nigeria is difficult to quantify, but statistics show that Nigeria is essentially a dumping ground for 40% of the world’s recorded counterfeit drugs. Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has struggled for years to put an end to this life threatening issue, but the problem still rages on.
The app these teenagers created will help the NAFDAC, and others administering drugs, distinguish between fake and legitimate drugs. The teenagers plan to partner with the NAFDAC to create a large database of certified pharmaceutical products. Once the database is created, the user can simply scan the barcode of the drug and the app will let them know if the drug is real or fake, and an expiration date will appear. The app will also allow the user to report fake drugs to the NAFDAC. It is expected that the use of this app will revolutionize the fake drug approach in not only Nigeria, but around the world.