Counterfeiting is the concern of everyone – the consumers and the manufacturers alike. Drugs and food counterfeiting has been on the increased, the market is not sought for and the income is on the high side but to the detriment of both the consumers, suppliers and manufacturers. Technology can be of utmost importance in this area via the development of an authenticating system with a unified database that will authenticate all registered food and drugs. The food and drug authenticating systems will confirm the truth of an attribute of a single piece of data claimed true by an entity. The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria will be a case study whereby the general public can instantly authenticate any food/drug before purchase and consumption and any failed authentication will be temporary blacklisted for further investigation. This proposed research is a web based system with modules on authenticating, registration for the admin and others; Dynamic System Development Method was used. Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 ( and SQL Server Management Studio 2008 are employed for the design of the front end and back end respectively.



‘Counterfeiting is a huge problem for the pharmaceutical market. Access to prescription drugs outside of controlled pipeline is becoming a much larger issue, especially with the ability to obtain prescription drugs online. This is an area there need to be more focus to ensure consumer protection’,said Troy Turley (Director, Market Development of Chesapeake Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Packing) in Tracking and Tracing Pharmaceutical Products by Marie Redding (2011).

In a general and simple term,an established procedure or a collection of components (hardware, software and people etcetera), functioning as a unified whole to the achievement of a collective goal is called a system.

Authentication (from Greek: authentikos, “real, genuine,” from authentes, “author”) is the act of confirming the truth of an attribute of a single piece of data (a datum) claimed true by an entity. In contrast with identification which refers to the act of stating or otherwise indicating a claim purportedly attesting to a person or thing’s identity, authentication is the process of actually confirming that identity. It might involve confirming the identity of a person by validating their identity documents, verifying the validity of a Website with a digital certificate, tracing the age of an artifact by carbon dating, or ensuring that a product is what its packaging and labeling claim to be. In other words, authentication often involves verifying the validity of at least one form of identification.

The relationship between the health stability of people and their consumption cannot be underestimated. This called for a serious campaign against the black/gray market of counterfeiters and not just because of their illegal financial gain. Anti-counterfeit campaign technologically is not just cheap but safe.

One might be forced to ask, ‘Is the NAFDAC registration number not enough to checkmate the rate of counterfeiting of drugs and foods?’ Well, it is just to ascertain the legality of a manufacturing firm and not the product because the firm’s name and trademark can be stolen and cloned. More so, the registration number don’t have the used/unused status in the database but a permanent status unlike this unique code that once a product is verified, the status of the code changes from unused to used instantaneously. 

This system is designed to be a centralized authenticating system with a centralized database to authenticate food and drugs in the country. Every food and drug will be given a unique code at the point of registration and screening of every periodic manufacturing or production of the Pharmaceutical or Food Company. This code is not the NAFDAC registration as usual but every product will be given a code accordingly via its batch of production.

Unlike the present different authenticating systems that pharmaceutical companies already have, this system will be a single whole manned by NAFDAC.This unique code cannot be cloned because it remains invisible until the buyer of the product unveils the code before payment.

Safety measures have shifted from the manual methods which in this case are the manual NAFDAC registration number or the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) trademark, to a more sophisticated measure like the continuous redesign of trademarks, logos and symbols but more especially is the digitalization of safety measures. The digitalization of safety measures include a locked computer image as logo, a unique number generated using random algorithm and an in-built chips like in the case of Nigeria voter’s card, credit/debit cards and other computerized identity cards. The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have a system of certifying the safety of food and drugs before the producing company or a pharmaceutical starts production but no measure are in place for continual certification of the safety of those products initially certified safe. This resulted to the increase of fake and counterfeit drugs as well as food notably the Onitsha Drugs Market (in Anambra State of Nigeria) which has gone through many cleanse processes initiated by the Late Prof. Dora Akunyili (Former Director General, NAFDAC) {details of NAFDAC is in chapter two of this research}.


The importance of one’s health cannot be underestimated because health is wealth. To promote the health of Nigerians through the prevention of unsafe foods and drugs consumption necessitated this research. More so, the businesses of legal and safe foods and drugs manufacturers are at risk, because counterfeited and faked foods and drugs go lesser than the original and safe. The more the counterfeits, the more the counterfeiter’s income increases while the real manufacturer tends to be bankrupt.

Intellectual properties and information assets; foods and drugs which are subset of the aforementioned has got a great need to be protected and properly secured. This will entertain the automated because the manual has got lot of problems which include:

1. The present Medical Mobile Authenticating System (MAS) does not have a central database, more so these systems are manned by the pharmaceutical companies and not NAFDAC. What is the probability of the company not having a counterfeiter’sinfiltrator?

2. Presently, there is no system for authenticating foods and drugs which NAFDAC is the administrator; hence this has directly or indirectly promoted the merchandize of counterfeiters.

3. The present mobile authentication system covers only drugs of which most are anti-malaria drugs, foods are not covered.


The main aim of this research is to develop Drug and Food Authenticating System that will be able to test and confirm the true attribute any of any registered food and drug. While the objectives of this research is to develop a system that will be able to achieve the following:

1. Authentication of foods and drugs.

2. A database for the purpose of authentication.

3. Verification of drugs and foods via the normal NAFDAC registration number

4. Will be to address all human errors as to certify the truth of the food or drug.


The life expectancy of any people lies also on the food and drugs taken.  To walk, work and thinks properly, the health of someone must be in stability which can be ascertain through the foods and drugs taken. Hence, this research is of utmost significance to aid Nigerian to having an uncompromised health. Subsequently, the financial stability and growth of investors should not be compromised through counterfeiting.


Foods as used in this research does not include cultivated and perishable food but only manufactured and industrially processed foodlike the canned foods, bottled and bagged foods, which include sardine, vegetable oil, rice and beverages. Due to the wideness of foods and drugs, samples are selected from the population and used to design this system. Literatures they were reviewed also define the scope of this system.



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