Innovations in Blockchain Technology Zuellig Pharma
Daniel Laverick is the VP/ Head of the Digital and Data Solutions team at Zuellig Pharma, where he focuses on developing customer-facing innovations to enable secure ordering and ensuring supply chains are visible.
Zuellig Pharma was founded 100 years ago and has grown to become one of the largest healthcare service provider groups in Asia, valued at US$13 billion. Key products include the online ordering portal eZRx; the eZTracker solution which uses blockchain-based technology to drive transparency and visibility in the supply chain for product authentication; and eZVax, a solution that provides governments, local health authorities and the private sector with end-to-end vaccine management. The latter is primarily used for the COVID-19 vaccine currently, but Laverick says the plan is for this to be used for any vaccine in the future.
Zuellig Pharma's partnership with pharmaceutical company MSD began in 2020 when eZTracker was deployed in Hong Kong to enhance the traceability of Gardasil®9, MSD's HPV vaccine. Laverick explains how eZTracker works: "As the vaccines move through various handover points in the supply chain, the products' data points are loaded into eZTracker's secure blockchain ledger, and this ensures it can't be tampered with. Users such as healthcare professionals and patients are able to verify the authenticity of the vaccine by scanning a unique data matrix code on the product pack."
Collaboration between the two companies has grown since then. "We work closely with MSD's Connected Channel globally, as well as the regional teams, on expanding the use and outreach of eZTracker" Laverick says. "It really is to support the initiative that MSD has, to go from plant to patient and track and trace its product and material movements."
Zuellig Pharma recently completed a project to explore how blockchain technology can be leveraged further to provide more visibility around inventory and streamline ordering processes. "We tried to build out a backbone using eZTracker, so we can take this one step further for ongoing collaborations. We're looking at bringing in global serialisation, which entails utilising MSD's global serialisation data matrix. This makes it far more efficient and seamless to track a product's movements along the supply chain" Laverick says.
Next, Zuellig Pharma is looking at ways MSD can have a self-operated node to be in control of the data the blockchain contains. "Looking into the future, we're working on how we can further enhance the blockchain network with things like monitoring shipping conditions and bringing in temperature cold chain data, so we can guarantee the quality of the product along each leg of the supply chain. Then we can work on various options around vaccine registry and maybe even look at adherence, so working with medical institutions to drive more patient-centred care and education."
"We have a very strong partnership with MSD" he adds. "We look forward to continuing to build on this, and seeing how we can support digitally enabled end-to-end supply chains, and the vision to track from plant to patient."