Awareness and Adoption of Drug Mobile Authentication Service: A Conscious Approach in Eradication of Fake and Counterfeit Drugs in Nigeria
A major challenge facing the global pharmaceutical industry is counterfeiting, of which studies have shown to be more prevalent in developing countries. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has in recent years introduced the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) as a conscious approach in combating the manufacture, distribution and consumption of fake and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria. This study was carried out to determine the extent of awareness and adoption of drug mobile authentication service among Nigerians in the south-west region. A total of 1,544 questionnaires were administered in three purposively selected states. Mean and standard deviation were used in the analysis of data gathered. Results showed that whereas there was 65% awareness, adoption of the technology was low at 20.3%. Television viewing, radio jingles and word or mouth were found to be major sources of information about the technology, as against internet, newspaper and poster advertisements, which ranked low in awareness creation. Despite this evidence of relatively high level of awareness with a grand mean of x̅=3.07, SD=.505, the result depicts a poor adoption rate of MAS in southwest Nigerian. The study concludes that NAFDAC and government must go beyond just awareness creation to focus more on discovering practicable approaches that can spur the audience to adoption and continuous usage of MAS technology so as to facilitate the reduction, if not eradication of fake and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria.
Keywords: Awareness, Adoption, Fake drugs, Counterfeit drugs and Mobile authentication service