After the awards I get to speak to Bright Simons
, the man behind the ingenious system that is helping to tackle the serious blight of counterfeit drugs in Africa.
"African mobile phone users do not have contracts," says Mr. Simons
"They use top-up scratch cards.
So people are very used to using scratch cards this."
One criticism of using SMS, rather than voice, is that it implies a certain level of literacy for the user.
says this was considered, but in trials it turned out not to be an issue.
By tapping into existing social patterns Mr. Simons
said resistance to the new approach was very low.
"Had we started this in Europe our marketing costs would have been sky-high.
But in Africa people trust their particular pharmacist.
And so it means that people will follow the system in their pharmacist tells them.
If a consumer gets a NO message it means the pharmacist is selling fake medicines," Mr. Simons
"That is a criminal offence.
Most pharmacists will replace the drug."
While others have tried high-tech approaches, such as RFID chips, or laser holograms, mPedigree
is a fraction of the cost and uses existing technologies.
Working with Hewlett-Packard, trials were launched in Ghana and Nigeria this summer, says Mr. Simons, mPedigree's chief strategist.
Other countries including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, have all expressed interest.
The mobile network operators have agreed to pay for the costs of the SMS messages.
Across the developing world, especially in west Africa, counterfeit drugs are a serious problem.
According to Mr. Simons
, 45% drugs in Nigeria are fake.