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Traceability in the Pharma Supply Chain: ACG Inspection Introduces Blockchain-based Solution


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ACG Inspection – a supplier offering end-to-end manufacturing solutions for the pharmaceutical industry – has introduced an advanced blockchain-based solution that is designed to meet traceability and anti-counterfeiting requirements in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The company’s Brand Security Platform combines GS1 2D Data Matrix, smart contracts, geolocation identification and product biometrics tracking to ensure the whereabouts and contents of packaged medicines are tightly monitored through their entire supply chain journey from manufacturer to end user.

The comprehensive new system aims to provide a seamless, uncompromisingly transparent experience to all stakeholders along the supply chain, simplifying the overall process through distributed ledger technology and single ownership. It is designed to overcome several longstanding obstacles to advanced traceability, including the challenges of establishing single-owner data sets, and the prevalence of digitally broken supply chains stemming from, among other issues, struggles with GS1 universality, personnel error and new business models disrupting traditional procedures.

ACG Inspection’s solution has three primary components, each of which can be incorporated individually or bundled per customer needs. The customizable products also are scalable, amounting to geolocation solutions that can provide everything from basic data management to full-scale, supply chain-wide transparency.
 

  • Blockchain: With Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and smart contracts, all medicines and buyers, sellers, logistics partners and manufacturers are registered to one network, meaning attempts to manipulate the supply chain at any point can be detected. 
  • Internet of Things (IoT): All participants in the delivery chain can be connected to the network using any GS1-compatible application, such as the ACG Inspection mobile application, the ACG Inspection web platform, or any other application integrated into the ACG Inspection platform. ACG Inspections Geo Location and product biometrics trackers tagged to the products always provide all the data required for monitoring the location information and biometrics of the package. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Participants can be alerted in real-time regarding any temperature breach if the temperature of the medicine/drug rises above or falls below the desired threshold level, Geo-Fencing breach, or any deviation in the route planning, enabling real-time decisions. If the steady stream of data determines unacceptable deviations, the corresponding package is automatically invalidated.


Combined, these elements aim to lead to a supply chain setup with traceability and transparency. Upon obtaining a unique serial number, QR Code or datamatrix for each package, the manufacturer scans the codes to initiate the track & trace process. From that point forward, the system’s trackers continuously monitor and transmit data concerning the package’s temperature, humidity and location and any other parameter that is configured. Data also is analyzed to ensure compliance with various domestic and/or international mandates.

Throughout, real-time data is available to platform users via a dashboard, a unified space for clear and easy access to pertinent information. When the package eventually reaches the end user, the receiving party can validate the drug prior to purchase by scanning its code with a POS scanner. Once the final transaction occurs, relevant data is immutably stored in a digital ledger for reporting or recall purposes. 

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