How a Social Entrepreneur is Fighting Counterfeit Medicines in the Developing World

Not long ago, the social entrepreneur Bright Simons tried and failed to create a platform to pair organic farmers in Ghana with consumers of organic products. But in that failure he made an important discovery that is now revolutionizing the fight against fake and counterfeit goods in the developing world — including potentially deadly counterfeit medicines.

Bright Simons is the co-founder and lead of mPedigree, a social enterprise that combats the problem of counterfeit and fake goods — everything from medicines, to seeds, to auto-parts and more.

As Bright Simons explains, mPedigree takes a systems-wide approach to fighting counterfeits. Its core innovation is a unique product identification marker, called the GoldKeys Platform. Think of it as a scratch off label that reveals a code which people can use a phone to instantly validate the authenticity of a product.

Through this validation system, mPedigree has not only helped stop counterfeiting across many industries, but as Bright Simons explains it’s changing the behavior of individual consumers, industries and even government.

This conversation with Bright Simons will change how you think about counterfeit goods and the systems required to stop this problem and restore consumer confidence and trust.

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This episode is presented in partnership with the Skoll Foundation to showcase the work of the 2019 recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The Skoll Awards distinguish transformative leaders whose organizations disrupt the status quo, drive sustainable large-scale change, and are poised to create even greater impact on the world. Recipients receive $1.5 million in core support investments to scale up their work.