““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”
New Technology Helps Travelers Spot Fake Drugs
A new technology can help ensure the safety of medications that sick travelers buy overseas. Mobile Product Authentication, developed by software company Sproxil, allows purchasers to use their mobile devices to send a unique code on the drug packaging to the manufacturer. The traveler receives an almost immediate response indicating whether the drug is real or fake. The company, which has offices in the U.S. and Nigeria, recently received a $1.8 million investment from the nonprofit Acumen Fund, whose goal is to fight poverty in South Asia and East Africa. The investment will be used to build sales teams in the U.S. and Nigeria, begin Sproxil’s expansion into India and Kenya and improve the technology.
Earlier this year, a report published by the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime showed that three in 10 pharmaceutical products found in Africa, Asia and Latin America were counterfeit, while 50 to 60 percent of medications in parts of Asia and Africa had too little or no active ingredients.