2. PharmaLedger’s Finished Goods Traceability Use Case

Finished Goods Traceability Use Case | Watch PharmaLedger’s Use Case presentation and topic-specific Q&A – and join us in our Trust-Centric Healthcare Journey.

PharmaLedger hosted our first public Open Webinar “A Trust-Centric Healthcare Journey” at the end of 2020. It covered the challenges, solutions and added value of our four supply chain use cases. You can be sure to rewatch this webinar on our YouTube channel if you have missed it – you will also be allowed to directly view each individual use case topic and listen to questions answered by our presenters according to topic. We will share each of our four Supply Chain Use Cases over the next couple of weeks so you can get up to speed with updates of our project and get ready for our next Open Webinar in February. 

Finished Goods Traceability Use Case

Following Clinical Supply Traceability, the second use case covered in the webinar was Finished Goods Traceability, and it was presented by its co-leads: Dr. Jan Wortmann (Bayer) and Bernhard Salb (Roche). You can find this use case recording below, along with the Q&A related to this topic asked by the participants at the end of the video:

Here is a brief overview of the presentation, with minute markers to help you navigate the video recording.

Current Clinical Supply Chain Process (1:15)

Once products are approved by regulators in the clinical trial process, these medicines are ready to be sent out into the world. That’s where the traceability of finished goods comes into play. Various drug makers send finished products to various wholesalers, which are then distributed among pharmacies all over the world (as seen in the image). There is, however, a lack of traceability throughout the entire process. For example, a drug maker can trace a finished product to a wholesaler, but then there is no information about it being passed down to hospitals or patients.

Challenges – Pain Points (2:25)

As mentioned in our previous article, PharmaLedger: Challenges found in Healthcare Supply Chains, there are certain challenges in finished goods supply chains, including:

  • No end-to-end visibility
  • Delayed and distorted demand signals
  • Manual reaction on recalls
  • Siloed information & high number of IT interfaces

Finished Goods Traceability – PharmaLedger Solution  (4:14) 

Using blockchain technology, PharmaLedger’s Finished Goods Traceability Use Case aims to connect and share information across the entire ecosystem. All those involved would have trusted, confidential information stored and traced in an immutable database. Blockchain would also help restrict what information is shared and with whom throughout the supply chain, so no one would accidentally gain access to something they shouldn’t. Onboarding new partners would also be fast and easy since confidentiality through blockchain technology doesn’t need to be created through relationship-building. Another advantage would be to connect patients by providing important product information that would thus involve them through the process. 

Solution Ecosystem Advantages (7:47)

Having an industry using one platform would reduce costs by leveraging established standards and promoting industry solutions. The real-time shipment information would provide better services and everyone would have a new digital identity. Customer experience would also improve by providing the answer to: where is my product? Also, a new standardised experience in on-boarding new partners would be established.

Value Proposition (10:20)

What is the added value to those involved?  You can read the highlighted value that is added to those affected by this use case below.

Some additional overall advantages include increased patient safety through full product control over the entire supply chain; fast efficient recalls; optimised cost over the board for the benefit of the health systems; simplified IT interfaces and unlocked previously siloed information.

Finished Goods Use Case Closing Remarks (14:38)

Following the Clinical Supply Chain Use Case, the Finished Goods Use case from PharmaLedger aims to connect the supply chain using blockchain technology to accelerate trusted information sharing throughout the ecosystem. It also would incorporate new partners and patients throughout the digital value chain. 

Q&A (15:24)

  • What’s the status of this project? When do they go-live, and is this only for the EU market or global? (15:24)
  • What is the greatest benefit of blockchain to a regulatory agency? (18:00)
  • The packs are not managed in the Supply Chain as single units but on pallets. How will this be solved especially in EU where aggregation is Not required? (18:51)
  • Where do you store the data? Who owns, maintains and ensure security of the data? (19:41)
  • What’s one major risk you see with this technology that may disrupt the whole supply chain? (20:36)
  • Which underlying technologies are you currently exploring? Are you in communication with regulatory agencies and what is their feedback about this approach? (22:51)
  • Who is the ‘owner’ of the blockchain? (24:18)

Q&A Closing Remarks (24:18)

If you’ve missed our webinar, you can watch the full “A Trust-Centric Healthcare Journey” webinar recording below, which includes the other three supply chain use cases. You can also look forward to a future article that will answer any unanswered questions that have been asked during the webinar. The next edited webinar recording will cover the Electronic Product Information (EPI) Use Case.

PharmaLedger has eight use cases in total covering supply chains, clinical trials and health data. PharmaLedger is a three-year project sponsored by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (efpia) that brings together a consortium made up of 29 partners who are working together to build a trusted platform using blockchain technology and in addition create many healthcare applications. 

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