Singapore-based Zuellig Pharma has built a blockchain-enabled medicine provenance application to eliminate counterfeit products from its supply chain. The company is one of the biggest drug distributors in Asia.
WHO reported that Asia accounts for the largest share of counterfeit drugs in the world, according to the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (2009). In 2017 the WHO stated that in developing countries, 10% of drugs are substandard or falsified. The global fake pharma market could be as big as $200bn a year, according to Reuters (2010).
Given the concerns about the legitimacy of drugs in the region, it is logical for Zuellig Pharma to turn to blockchain for medicine traceability. Supply chains have many participants, and an investigation into the origin of a drug can take weeks.
Blockchain can record the transfer of a product right from the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer and back if the medicines are returned. This cuts down the time required for eliminating the counterfeits from the supply chain.
Zuellig Pharma’s eZTracker app
Zuellig Pharma has developed a smartphone app powered by SAP’s blockchain platform that lets consumers verify the authenticity of a drug by just scanning a barcode. If a product is found to be fake, automatic alerts will be sent by the app to the drug manufacturer and Zuellig Pharma. The notifications will provide details about where the counterfeit pharmaceuticals entered the supply chain.
“eZTracker uses blockchain to address counterfeit products, cross-border trading and product recalls. It allows for instantaneous material traceability, and this results in unparalleled levels of quality control and compliance to improve patient safety,” said Daniel Laverick, Head of SAP & IT Solutions at Zuellig Pharma.
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