The Asia-Pacific pharmaceutical giant is using a blockchain platform from SAP to help consumers identify the provenance of medicine
With one in 10 medical products used in developing countries deemed to be fake, there is a pressing need to eradicate counterfeit drugs that could pose a danger to patients.
According to the World Health Organisation, fake drugs, while seemingly identical to the real thing, often “fail to properly treat the disease or condition for which they were intended, and can lead to serious health consequences, including death”.
Cracking down on fake drugs, however, can be time-consuming. At Zuellig Pharma, a regional pharmaceutical giant in the Asia-Pacific region, it could weeks to do so, as it needs to gather data from different parties across its supply chain.
That is where blockchain technology comes in. Zuellig Pharma has recently developed the eZTracker smartphone app, powered by SAP’s blockchain platform, that lets consumers verify the authenticity of a drug and if it has been legitimately distributed by scanning a barcode.
“If a product is fake, alerts will be automatically triggered to the manufacturer and to Zuellig Pharma, together with an instant identification of where the fake product entered the supply chain,” the company said in December 2018.
Elaborating on eZTracker during an SAP regional event in Bangkok in August 2019, Zuellig Pharma’s head of SAP and IT solutions, Daniel Laverick, said the SAP blockchain platform captures data from the drug manufacturer about a drug that it has received at its warehouse onto a blockchain.
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