Singapore healthcare firm uses SAP blockchain to counter fake COVID-19 jabs
Singapore’s Zuellig Pharma, a health care provider, has reportedly been using a blockchain-based network for tracking COVID-19 vaccinations in order to prevent doctors from administering expired vaccines.
Zuellig Pharma shared with media that its new “eZTracker” management system has been tested to help prevention of improperly stored or counterfeit vaccines that could have otherwise been misused. The new management system backed by blockchain allows its clients instant verification of the provenance and authenticity of their vaccines through a mobile app.
Vice-President and Head of Digital and Data Solutions at Zuellig Pharma said that accidents involving expired or improper storage of vaccines could be avoided with the tracker.
eZTracker makes use of the SAP blockchain for capturing, tracking and tracing multiple data points so it can improve supply chain transparency.
The eZTracker website explains that users can simply scan the QR code on the packaging, and their vaccines would be instantly verified whether the vaccine comes from an authorized distributor.
Laverick added that patients would be able to scan the 2D data matrix on the product packaging for verifying key product information such as expiry date, temperature, and provenance via its blockchain-powered app.
The SAP Blockchain reportedly executes operations as a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), enabling its clients to develop customized blockchain extensions for preexisting applications. According to SAP, 77 per cent of the world’s transaction revenue touches one of their systems.
Back in 2020, Zuellig had partnered with pharmaceutical company MSD for deploying eQTrakcer in Hong Kong, where it had been used for tracing vaccines for Human Papilloma Virus, Gardasil.
Laverick had explained that as the vaccines are able to move through various handover points in the supply chain, the products’ data points are simultaneously loaded into eZTracker’s secure blockchain ledger, thus ensuring it can’t be tampered with.
Established 100 years ago, Zuellig is one of the biggest healthcare service provider groups in Asia. Zuellig even has a product called eZVax, which specifically provides governments, local health centres, and the private sector with end-to-end vaccine management.
This is especially significant for Southeast Asia as it has emerged as a hotbed of fake meds with between $520 million and $2.6 billion spent annually on counterfeit medicines, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.