Building transparency into pharmaceutical supply chains with discoverable and verifiable Web3 assets
Global donor (pharmaceutical) organizations face a myriad of challenges and risks in their supply chains when monitoring donations of essential medical supplies to low-middle-income markets. Product diversion, improper storage and distribution conditions, quality excursions, expiration of products, and product tampering all put patients' health at risk and impact donor organizations negatively in several ways. All of these supply chain risks prohibit the original intent of these donations – increasing access to medicines for patients in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
It’s been acknowledged across the donated medicines market that the best way to overcome these challenges is to improve the visibility of medicines along the supply chain and capabilities of those involved. Improvements in supply chains lead to dramatic advancements in utilization of donated medicines, ensuring the products reach their intended patients – the true value indicator of the donor organization.
Made possible by the advent of Web3 (or the Internet of the 3rd generation), OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph brings to life a new type of assets, representing critical information that drives supply chain trust and transparency. These assets are powered by blockchain, the same technology that is the foundation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Polkadot, and unlock enormous value as a verifiable representation of data, attesting to the sustainability focus of businesses and organizations.
If the 1st generation Internet (Web1) allowed for information to be created and shared globally, and the Web2 made it possible for organizations and people to use platforms to share their information, the Internet of the 3rd generation (Web3) now drives the ownership economy and offers opportunities to transform useful and credible information into assets that will drive the value for businesses and individuals alike.
OriginTrail technology enables information and data from manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, and hospitals to be collected along supply chains in a trusted decentralized system. As information on relevant shipping and receiving events are collected, the data is also bundled together by associated products and their origins, allowing for structured and organized data to be made discoverable and verifiable as organizations’ assets at any time. Each asset has clearly attributed ownership, origin, and even quantifiable value, enabling sustainable investment decision-making.
How to achieve visibility and trust to the distribution of donated medicines by creating assets in the Web3 environment?
Bringing together BSI’s global footprint and expertise in supply chain risk management best practice with the OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph developed by Trace Labs, AidTrust enables visibility, risk flags, and real-time decision making on all donations at all stages in the supply chain. The goal of AidTrust is to ensure the donor organizations are able to evidence to their donating organizations that the donated medicines did indeed reach the intended patient, even in complex environments.
Donor organizations receive tax breaks from some governments to donate pharmaceuticals to the LMICs. Additionally, the financial investment community has requested that pharmaceutical organizations incorporate their Access to Medicine programs into sustainability reporting initiatives – in order to achieve greater sustainable investment returns. The question is how would pharmaceutical organizations showcase to the investor community or to governments how they are having oversight of their donated medicines and Access to Programs?
The answer is clear. All will require and rely on availability of such assets gained from supply chain data and information – we name them Web3 assets, as they bear an ability to be discovered, verified, and valued by using the OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph. Imagine if donor organizations were able to show their assets of patient utilization levels across all donated medicine programs to their investor communities and government oversight bodies. Or if non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were able to prove to their donor organizations that the medicines were kept under a strong chain of custody control and reached intended markets and patients, without diversion, quality excursions, or expired products.
In a real-life project example, BSI and Trace Labs worked with an NGO to distribute blood-related products to over 30,000 patients across India. In just over six months, AidTrust allowed the client to significantly enhance the transparency of their in-country distribution, using the trusted data assets for better understanding the traceability and risk exposure of their donated medicines. More specifically, the NGO now has key performance indicators they can regularly report to their donor organizations around product authentication, track patient utilization, and provide transparency on stock levels, in addition to flagging expired products, diversion, or waste of product.
In summary, effective supply chains for donated medicines and vaccines need to be based on trust and actionable data, ultimately in the form of quantifiable assets that enable sustainable investments – made possible through AidTrust.