Government of Afghanistan to use blockchain platform to control counterfeit medicines

According to Fantom, on July 6, its Opera blockchain platform will be used to track 80,000 units of four different pharmaceutical products in Afghanistan. After this initial pilot test, the system will be expanded to cover more products later this year.

50,000 units of hand disinfectant, 10,000 joint creams, 10,000 Kofol tablets and 10,000 Dioacare foot creams will be tracked during the trial. The system aims to address the problem of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the country.

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Fantom said local law enforcement agencies seized 100 tons of counterfeit, expired or substandard medicines in 2017. By tracking products in the chain, the company hopes to create a tamper-proof audit trail to ensure that items are not tampered with along their journey through the supply chain.

Increased control in the supply chain
Tracked products will have a shipping label that will be scanned at each stage of the distribution process. Each time the label is scanned, a hash with the product name, lot number, expiration date and other details will be recorded and saved in the blockchain platform.

A hash is an irreversible mathematical function that generates an alphanumeric string that contains no data but allows people to verify if the data is the same as that calculated in the hash.

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Afghanistan to use blockchain technology for health records management
The pilot project is the result of collaboration between the supply chain company Fantom, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health and the pharmaceutical companies Bliss GVS, Royal Star and Nabros Pharma. Fantom will also create a hospital medical records management system based on a blockchain platform for the Ministry of Health. The company’s chief information officer, Michael Kong, told Cointelegraph:

„The next health records management system, using our blockchain technology, should require that entries into the system be made correctly from the start, and should keep malicious operators responsible for erroneous entries. The biggest problem in developing countries is identifying where the problem is and having strong evidence to apply it, rather than the health records management systems themselves“.

Fantom’s business development director, Bariq Sekandari, played a key role in developing a partnership with the Afghan government. He pushed for the establishment of an office in the region and hired a local team to build partnerships with the government. The partnership was first announced in late November 2019, when the Afghan Ministry of Public Health signed a memorandum of understanding with the company.

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Kong and Sekandari informed Bitcoin Freedom that Fantom is also in discussions with several other government agencies, but cannot yet share details.