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AI Case Study

AstraZeneca plans to crack down on online sale of counterfeit drugs in China using machine learning and natural language processing

AstraZeneca teams up with Tencent and Alibaba to strengthen the fight against counterfeit efforts. Alibaba will put traceability codes on drug packages and through their app patients will receive personalised recommendations and healthcare services. Tencent will work with AstraZeneca to identify online counterfeit drug sale using natural language processing to identify suspect language.



Pharmaceuticals And Biotech

Project Overview

"British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has teamed up with Chinese technology powerhouses Alibaba and Tencent to deliver smart healthcare services through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) in China."

"For a start, the partnership with Alibaba will enable more than one million Chinese patients to learn more about disease prevention and healthcare services by scanning the AliHealth traceability code on drug packages this year.

And over the next three years, both companies will work together to boost the treatment of cancer and respiratory diseases, among other health conditions, according to Chinese news reports.

AliHealth, Alibaba’s healthcare arm, said it would also work with AstraZeneca to develop an AI-powered screening and diagnostic engine to help clinicians improve chronic disease management and diagnostics efficiency."

"Tencent will combine the powerful technologies of our Tencent United Security Laboratory and its Anti-FraudLab with the healthcare expertise of AstraZeneca to showcase the power of cooperation, and to strengthen collaboration in anti-counterfeit efforts, information sharing, case consultation, the creation of green authentication channels, and communication with law enforcement authorities.
Prior to this partnership, Tencent, through its food and drug data analytics platform, had helped China’s food and drug administration crack down on imports of fake food products and counterfeit drugs worth over RMB80m (US$12.7m) in 2017."

Reported Results

Planned; Results not yet known




Production Ip


To detect and prevent online sales of counterfeit drugs online which is rampant in China and build a smart drug safety program


Cost - Fraud reduction


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