Today, at the 59° edition of Simposio AFI in Rimini, we have shared the scientific session “Towards a supply chain 4.0” with Gabriele Ricci – Takeda, Alberto Bartolini – CIT, Raffaele Gargiulo – Keethings and Gianpaolo Baranzoni – Gruppo di Studio AFI Sistemi Informativi.

The focus has been on “Opportunities offered by new technologies 4.0, necessary technology for their management and the current stage of the pharmaceutical industry in new technolgies application”, with a specific focus on IoT, blockchain and AI. During this scientific session we have shared our experience presenting our analysis on blockchain applicability to the secondary packaging and digital document management systems.

We asked ourselves how the advantages offered by blockchain technology in terms of data integrity, document certification and document sharing, integration between different systems and players and scalability could be applied to improve the quality of the secondary packaging, especially in the cold chain. In this process a strictly controlled temperature maintenance, its continuous verification and monitoring and the compliance with the Time out of Refrigeration are just some of the aspects that must be kept under control.

Once the process and its critical issues have been analyzed, what is the value that blockchain can add to this process? Starting from Mark Buitenhek’s quote – ING – “Blockchain is not the thing. It’s the thing that enables the thing”, we firmly believe that blockchain cannot be left alone, but to express its value it needs to be integrated with the latest researches and technologies. For this reason, when we talk about maintaining cell temperature and Time Out of Refrigeration (TOR) of a secondary packaging process (cold chain), IoT technology (such as sensors or RFID – radio frequency identification) could be integrated with blockchain, enhancing its advantages. Blockchain can guarantee data integrity, time certification of collected data and their integration with systems already in use in the company.

More advantages can be considered in the certification and data integrity improvement of digital processes already in use, such as GMP documentation (procedures, Master BR, validation protocols). With blockchain the digital document versions become auditable to have the certainty of the original and unaltered copy of the document and have the exact date and time of the document creation; we talk about a single audit trail for all the registered documentation.

At this edition of Simposio AFI we have shared our projects and our analysis on blockchain and the processes of the pharmaceutical sector with other professionals that are trying to use the opportunities of technologies 4.0 to promote the change. New ideas, experiences that allow us to to encourage the progress of ongoing projects and the development of new ones.

Discover more about our blockchain projects.