Apparently, the paint is still drying on a new, web-based software offering from Unisys Corp., but the product bids to provide some sorely needed networking and communication capability to the vendors and trading partners that constitute most pharma companies’ supply chains. Called ActiveInsights PharmaTrack, the offering builds on a similar solution offered to medical device manufacturers and users (such as hospitals) for asset management, and according to Jeff Livingstone, global head of life sciences and healthcare at the company, the product was pulled together over the past year from a variety of complementary Unisys products, including ones for data security and logistics management.
Livingstone says that PharmaTrack recognizes the role and data output of traceability solutions intended for compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), but “we’re not the serialization guys.” Rather, PharmaTrack will pull data from serialization systems and combine that with other outputs, including transportation management, event and exception management, and regulatory compliance documentation. It draws on resources from other Unisys services, including Stealth, a comprehensive data-security solution; and InfoImage, a secure data repository. It is compatible with product identification data composed according to the GS1 standards (which are nearly universally used in pharma traceability). Based on existing Unisys work for its governmental clients, PharmaTrack includes a blockchain-type distributed-ledger database, which provides a level of data access and security for recording transactions along the supply chain. (Blockchain technology, best known for being the foundation of bitcoin, is being studied by a number of organizations for application to pharma traceability.)
Supply chain visibility is the unifying theme to all these software resources. “The root cause of most of the counterfeiting, theft and loss companies face is due to the fact that many of the existing systems within the supply chain do not communicate with each other, creating disparate and non-contiguous information sharing,” says Livingstone. “PharmaTrack resolves this issue by providing a single system, accessed by all those managing various portions of the supply chain. This provides unmatched visibility, potentially saving companies billions of dollars a year in enhanced supply chain coordination and added efficiencies.”
PharmaTrack has come together over the past year based on interactions with existing Unisys clients in life sciences (which is one of only a few commercial sectors that Unisys operates in; the others are communications, retail and transportation). However, there is no current customer of PharmaTrack as yet. PharmaTrack will not replace existing enterprise computing systems, or dedicated traceability platforms, says Livingstone, but rater operate alongside them. “We’ve built this with an eye toward full DSCSA compliance in 2023,” he says.