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What FarmaTrust does and how it does it.
31 July 2018

The FarmaTrust solution has been designed to take advantage of legislation that is being enacted in the EU and the US (the falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) and the Drug Supply Chain Securities Act (DSCSA) respectively).

One of the major principles of these pieces of legislation is that each packet of prescription medication is required to include to security features, namely a tamper-evident seal and, from our perspective, more importantly, a machine-readable data matrix which is unique to each packet.

It is this latter artifact which provides the ability to follow the journey of an individual packet from “creation to consumption”. The uniqueness of this ‘digital passport’ also allows FarmaTrust to determine whether a falsified product which is mimicking this identity is being introduced to the supply chain by a nefarious player. The presence of a duplicate code will automatically raise an alert stating that there is an ‘unexpected behavior’ related to a particular unique identifier. This puts both products into a state of quarantine until it can be determined which supply chain route is the legitimate one.

Alternatively, if a unique serial code is encountered which is not legitimately registered with the regulatory authorities, this will similarly raise an alert that an unverified medicine has been discovered.

In both of these circumstances, the physical location of the scanning activity which raised the alarm can be used to pinpoint the incident. The FarmaTrust solution has the ability to provide data dashboards which include heat maps showing the location of the most prolific incidents of alerts being raised. This information can be provided to the local law enforcement agencies as well as to the regulator, as appropriate for them to take the necessary action.

The volume of pharmaceutical products that are shipped globally is truly colossal and, indeed, global. The only way to realistically track these legitimate products (and therefore identify those that are not) is by using a global system which is not constrained by geographical boundaries such as a country border. FarmaTrust has developed its solution based on blockchain for many reasons but it is the immutability of the record which is created on blockchain which makes this platform the ideal vehicle for regulatory and audit purposes, as well as its ability to transcend borders for the purpose of sharing both data and processes which makes it the ideal vehicle for a project of this nature.

Driving falsified or substandard products out of the pharmaceutical supply chain is a massive undertaking but, because of the human tragedy this causes as well as the negative commercial impact this causes, FarmaTrust believes it is a challenge worth tackling.