Thursday, May 29, 2014

Durham-based company develops app to track fraud

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — By snapping a picture with his mobile phone, Hersh Tapadia demonstrated how an app developed by the Durham-based anti-counterfeiting technology company CertiRx Corp. could find fraudulent changes on a prescription drug label.

Within minutes, Tapadia, who is CertiRx's co-founder and product development director, had a screen pulled up to show how the app could find and highlight counterfeit areas on an example drug label using a deep pink color.

The start-up is working to build a business around marking drug packages, pills, and academic documents for fraud detection and prevention. And it's also trying to win grant money to continue work on a technology that they're developing to mark pills or other products with small particles integrated into the drug's surface or mixed into its formulation.

"We think, on its face, if law-abiding people know substances are traceable (they'll) handle them more carefully," said CertiRx Corp.'s president and CEO Thomas J. Mercolino, who is another one of the company's three co-founders whose background includes work for the medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Co. and at Johnson & Johnson.