Singapore Pharmaceutical Company Pushes Blockchain Technology to Combat Spread of Counterfeit Drugs
Zuellig Pharma is a Singapore-based healthcare services company that recently developed a medication tracking app that uses blockchain technology.
eZTracker is one of the best use cases of blockchain technology that allows consumers to track COVID-19 vaccine expiration dates and storage temperature to prevent counterfeit products from entering markets. The app is available for iOS and Android platforms and works similar to a QR code scanner.
The company’s vice president and head of digital and data solutions Daniel Laverick believes that eZTracker can stop using “expired or improperly stored vaccines.”
“For products registered with eZTracker and depending on the needs of our Pharmaceutical Directors, patients can scan the 2D Data Matrix on the product packaging to verify key product information such as expiry date, temperature and provenance via its blockchain-powered app,” he said. .
The process of investigating huge piles of drugs can be time consuming as multiple parties need to be present and some of the expired products may be missed. On January 12, a Hong Kong-based private clinic injected an expired BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine into 36 people, according to medical authorities. Two people reported gastrointestinal pain shortly after receiving the vaccine.
According to Laverick, the platform uses the SAP blockchain to leverage the latest counterfeit drug prevention technologies in a faster approach.
“What I think is most important and revolutionary about the eZTracker is that for the first time, patients are empowered to join the fight against counterfeits.” Analysis manager Tristan Tan said in a Q&A session, “This app should be available to all patients so they have instant access to comprehensive information at their fingertips.”
According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, consumers in Southeast Asia spend between $520 billion and $2.6 billion annually on counterfeit and fraudulently mislabeled products.
eZTracker is not the first pioneer in logistics and pharmaceutical industries, as another similar platform, MediLedger offers almost the same services. Another platform called Galleon was created in 2016 to provide a blockchain-based electronic health record (EHR) cloud.
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