FarmaTrust review: using blockchain to fight fake medicines
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FarmaTrust is a global pharmaceutical tracking system designed to work with both industry and government partners to protect consumers by preventing fake medical products from entering the supply chain.
The core of the FarmaTrust software is a web based peer-to-peer platform which makes use of blockchain to create an immutable, secure and decentralized record of legitimately manufactured pharmaceutical products. These products can then be tracked through the markets, providing a guarantee of authenticity at every stage.
Additional selling points include big data analysis and AI tools for the pharmaceutical industry, and the ability to accommodate a new but growing trend in ‘personalized medicines’.
The market: why the world needs something like this
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest and most profitable in the world, valued at $1 trillion USD.
The vast size of this market makes it an appealing target for organized crime. Counterfeiters produce fake medicines very cheaply and sell them on for huge profits to unsuspecting consumers. It is estimated that at least 120,000 people, and possibly as many as 1 million people, will die needlessly every year as a result of using these counterfeit products. The situation is worst in developing countries, where as much as 30% of the market has been cornered by criminal counterfeiters.
As more and more people take advantage of online prescription services to order medicines over the internet, a prime channel for fraudsters to sell their products, these horrific numbers could grow even further.
Despite the massive costs to industry and consumers, and a strong commitment from governments and regulatory bodies to tackle the issue, no sufficiently effective solution has yet emerged.
Blockchain to the rescue: how FarmaTrust provides a more effective solution to the problem of counterfeit medicines.
“Current technologies such as tamper-proof and/or holographic labels and unique serial numbers are not sufficiently effective. The solution is to track pharmaceuticals through a supply chain that links digital systems to pharmaceuticals moving in the physical world.” – FarmaTrust whitepaper
One of the big problems in creating an industry wide solution is the wide variety of different systems used by each part of the supply chain. Each player may be using different IT system, or in some cases may still be relying on paper records. What is needed is a single data store which can be read and updated by many different participants whilst also being secured against tampering and other fraud. This is an exact description of what blockchain technology does best.
FarmaTrust’s ‘Zoi’ platform harnesses blockchain to create an immutable public record of each product’s path through the supply chain based on its unique ID code. This satisfies regulatory requirements for incorruptible data as well as industry track and trace obligations in a secure and accessible way.
Through the use of blockchain’s decentralized database, consumers can be protected from harm and industry can reduce the huge losses they are currently incurring.
In addition to this, the Zoi platform is able to use big data analysis and AI to help pharmaceutical companies to reduce supply chain inefficiencies and manage operations across disparate compliance regimes. In the future, the ability to reliably track, and access information about, individual products will also open the door to more effective systems for personalized medical treatments.
FarmaTrust is currently running an ICO in which investors can purchase the platform’s native crypto token. You can find more information about this as well as learning more about the company and the technology by visiting their website: https://www.farmatrust.io/
The Mongolian government have partnered with FarmTrust to implement their technology, you can read more about it in my article here: FarmaTrust taclking fake medicines in Mongolia with government partnership
If you want a more detailed explanation of both the technology and the business I recommend taking a look at the whitepaper which you can find here: https://farmatrust.io/sites/default/files/whitepaper/FarmaTrust_Whitepaper_v10.pdf