This study investigated the effectiveness of the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) introduced on antimalarial medicines (AMs) in curbing the incidences of counterfeiting for this group of pharmaceuticals. The assessment of the knowledge, attitude and use of the technology by Nigerian citizens, uncovering areas of deficit as well as proffering recommendations on the current use pattern of MAS by Nigerians was carried out. Nine hundred (900) questionnaires were used to assess the awareness of the Nigerians on the availability of the MAS feature on AMs and their knowledge on the correct use of the feature to get needed information about the authenticity of the AMs. 78% of respondents claimed to have heard about Short Messaging Service to check for counterfeits in AM. 51.4% of the respondents who knew about MAS had actually scratched the tag or had been involved in the process of using the service. 48.8% of these respondents received positive responses as feedback upon sending the pin while 4.7% did not receive any feedback response. While MAS does not provide information about the biopharmaceutical properties of these medicines, it confirms the authenticity of the product source and supply chain, thereby guarding against the possibility of infiltration by counterfeiters. This advantage would be of high benefit for artemisinin-combination therapy (ACTs) medicines and other AMs if exploited properly. Nigeria is the first country where MAS has been deployed extensively for the security of pharmaceuticals thus the need to conduct corresponding studies in other countries to ascertain the effectiveness of the MAS.
Key words: Mobile authentication service (MAS), pharmaceutical supply chain, anti-malarial medications.
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