With prescription drug abuse and the online counterfeit medicine trade both at epidemic levels, a host of tech companies have introduced products designed to keep patients safe. One such company is EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its new smartphone app helps health care providers or patients identify legitimate medications. Those with smartphones simply download the Check My Meds app, use the program to scan a two-dimensional barcode on most EMD Serono products, and wait for the system to verify the package.
Alabama-based MedSnap offers smartphone apps that help drug manufacturers identify counterfeit medications and “fingerprint” them to track down their source. Pictures are taken of the suspect medication and then loaded into a worldwide database that analyzes the pills’ size, color, shape, and other attributes to verify their authenticity.
Lower-tech options for keeping medication secure from potential abuse are also available. LockMed, based in Pennsylvania, sells lockable medication storage boxes, and Pill Pod, out of California, has combination locking plastic cylinders that store medication bottles vertically. Additional medication storage lockers are available and can be found via online searches.