FarmaTrust's Blockchain Platform That Will Bring Security to the Pharmaceutical World - Moderator

19 Jan 2018 - 16:49 |

FarmaTrust's Blockchain Platform That Will Bring Security to the Pharmaceutical World

The pharmaceutical sector is a fundamental component of the modern healthcare system, responsible for upholding and sustaining a standard quality of life for society. Though critical, the industry experiences wide-scale corruption, stemming from inefficient processes and legacy infrastructure. This causes several extremely damaging effects to the broader economy.

For instance, in Africa alone, fake drugs (pills, vaccines, etc.) kill 120,000 people a year. The WHO estimates that "1 in 10 medical products circulating in low- and middle-income countries is either substandard or falsified." With pharma-sales in these types of countries topping $300 billion a year, the ‘fake-medicine’ trade is likely a $30 billion business. Organized cartels have effectively infiltrated and manipulated the pharma-supply chain, plaguing the space with criminal activity. Stringent government regulations have proven unsuccessful.

FarmaTrust, an innovative blockchain startup, is optimistic that they can solve for these problems, among others, by employing frontier technology to radically streamline the industry. Specifically, they have developed a platform to, as their whitepaper details, “track pharmaceuticals through a supply chain that links digital systems to pharmaceuticals moving in the physical world.” This web-based, life-cycle system largely eradicates the threat of corruption, as they assign a unique id (layered over a digital supply chain) that makes drugs near impossible to counterfeit.

Importantly, and unlike incumbent systems, FarmaTrust’s solution is extremely comprehensive. Their platform, Zoi, has been engineered on top of a blockchain ledger, as a distributed (and interoperable) pharma-supply chain exchange (SCE). Using blockchain ensures that all of the data stored within the network cryptographically secure and encrypted.

These distributed databases are extremely challenging to hack, as there is no single point of vulnerability for hackers to access. Access and change within the network is tightly monitored and perpetually tracked such that any changes made are visible to security systems. The immutable nature of the ledger prevents disputes between parties, as all of the transactional details are shown transparently in each node.

Their team has also architected a stable “smart contract” mechanism that “enables two or more parties to sign an immutable contract which can be automatically fulfilled” as specified by code, rather than human intervention. The tangible contract “details the asset exchange terms (including but not limited to the fees),” which is a clarifying factor for most parties. And the immutable nature of the contract prevents later denial of the agreement (much as a paper contract signed by lawyers and witnessed, stamped, etc.). This decentralized log ultimately reduces (and in some cases eliminates) the need for “intricate and expensive relationship-management overhead required to provide integrity verification for transactions that traditionally have required third-party services.” By supplanting the intermediary, FarmaTrust’s platform is not only more reliable, but also operates more efficiently.

As a whole, this technology provides “pharmaceuticals companies, their packagers, distributors, pharmacies and regulators the visibility needed to make critical decisions that can greatly reduce supply chain costs.” It will also help stakeholders “identify gaps across varying compliance regimes, recoup costs lost through counterfeits; and protect consumers and brand through reduction of fake pharmaceuticals that find their way into the supply chain.”

The onboarding process for users is extremely intuitive. The platform's walkthrough, displayed on their site, explains how a user simply “registers for access to a multi-signature (multisig) wallet with KYC characteristics. The user creates a shared account for multiple party access. Each user has a private key to authorize a transaction, 7 of 9 multi-sig capability will allow FarmaTrust platform to track the ownership of tokens.

The final step in the process is to allow the consumer to use our mobile app with a QR code scanner to verify the authenticity of the product.” The actual tracking of the pharma-product leverages a serialization process that occurs as soon as the utility token is linked to the packet.

Developed by a team of industry professionals, with dozens of years of combined experience in-and-around the health-tech space, the FarmaTrust platform is poised to dramatically improve this space.

Look out for FarmaTrust’s upcoming initial coin offering (ICO). From a technical perspective, their primary token design is based on a Holder-Utility token model, as they plan to “issue Holder tokens (FTC) on an ERC20 token standard and move to an ERC223 token after mass adoption.”Each individual “FTC Holder token will generate or mint 500 utility tokens per week upon creation and issuance. The number of utility tokens generated will increase by 10% from the initial quarter, and such increase in utility tokens continues for the period of 6.5 years. Each utility token is required to track an individual medicine packet through the supply chain life cycle (there are billions of medicinal packets  owing through the supply chain).”

They plan to offer their token in various phases to ensure efficient distribution amongst their vibrant community at the time of the TDE. They intend to hold a TDE commencing in the first week of March 2018.

It will be interesting to see how stakeholders of the pharma-community respond to this technological breakthrough.