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Singapore Pharma Company Pushing Blockchain Tech to Fight Spread of Counterfeit Medicine

Zuellig Pharma is a Singapore-based healthcare services firm that recently developed a medicine tracking app that uses blockchain technology.

eZTracker is one of the best use cases of blockchain technology that allows consumers to track the expiration dates and storing temperature of the COVID-19 vaccine to prevent counterfeit products from entering the markets. The app is available for both iOS and Android platforms and operates the same as a QR code scanner.

The Vice President and Head of Digital and Data solutions of the company 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 pharma principals, patients can scan the 2D data matrix on the product packaging to verify key product information like expiry date, temperature, and provenance through its app powered by blockchain,” he said.

The process of investigating huge piles of medicine could be time-consuming because multiple parties must be present and it’s possible to miss some of the expired products. On Jan 12, a Hong Kong-based private clinic injected an expired BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 36 people, according to medical authorities. Two people filed reports of having gastrointestinal pain soon after having the vaccine.

According to Laverick, the platform uses the SAP blockchain to leverage the latest technology for preventing counterfeit medicine in a faster approach. 

“What I feel is most important and revolutionary about the eZTracker is that for the first time, patients are empowered to join in the fight against counterfeits.” Head of Analytics Tristan Tan said in a Q&A session, “This application should be available to all patients so that they have instant access to complete information at their fingertips.” 

According to a United Nations Drugs and Crimes office report, Southeast Asian consumers spend around $520 million to $2.6 billion on counterfeit and fraudulently mislabelled products every year.

eZTracker is not the first pioneer in the 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 cloud of Electronic Health Records (EHR).

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