- Following the visualization of temperature and location information in the distribution process of pharmaceuticals using the “ML Chain” data platform developed by Mitsubishi Logistics and launched in 2022, a new system will be established whereby Takeda, as the shipping party, can check the status of necessary permits, licenses, audit records and more of outsourcing companies used by Mitsubishi Logistics for services such as transportation utilizing the platform’s Smart Contract function.
- By implementing the standards for quality assurance on the smart contract, it is possible to instantly detect whether the subcontractor’s work meets the required quality level. If the quality of the subcontractor’s work does not meet the required level, this can be investigated.
- The system contributes to even higher quality assurance and proper contract execution for outsourced operations related to product transportation.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Takeda;” Head Office: Chuo-ku, Osaka; President and CEO: Christophe Weber) and Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director President: Hidechika Saito; hereinafter “Mitsubishi Logistics”) today announced the launch of an initiative to accurately and efficiently manage transportation contractors involved in the distribution of pharmaceuticals by utilizing “ML Chain,” a data platform that realizes advanced quality control developed by Mitsubishi Logistics based on blockchain (distributed ledger)*1 technology.
In recent years, companies distributing pharmaceuticals have been required to maintain a high level of quality assurance in the distribution process and promote uniformity of operations to prevent deterioration or spoilage of products. The Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines for pharmaceutical products issued in December 2018 stipulate such methods, and it is becoming more important than ever for pharmaceutical companies and others to ensure that outsourced operations always comply with the guidelines and maintain the eligibility of the distributed products.
Given these circumstances, Mitsubishi Logistics and Takeda began visualizing temperature control and location information of products in the distribution of pharmaceuticals through the data platform “ML Chain,” which became operational in January 2022, to realize more advanced quality control by sharing the temperature control and location information among various businesses collaborating in the distribution process while ensuring reliability through blockchain technology.
To further ensure quality, a new function will be implemented in ML Chain that will allow Takeda, as the shipping party, to visualize the status of necessary licenses and audit records of external contractors used by Mitsubishi Logistics for transportation and other services by using Smart Contracts*2. This will enable Takeda to confirm that the quality of outsourced services that are transporting Takeda’s products has been ensured and that the services are being performed reliably. By implementing the standards for quality assurance on the smart contract, it is possible to instantly detect when the quality of the subcontracted carrier’s work meets the required level and thus the contract is functioning normally, and to identify and investigate issues when the quality of the subcontractor’s work does not meet the required level.
Takeda and Mitsubishi Logistics will contribute to ensure the quality of outsourcing operations throughout the industry by reliably confirming and managing information with the many businesses involved in the distribution of Takeda’s products.
“We are committed to the four priorities of “Patient,” “Trust,” “Reputation” and “Business” as guiding principles. We are delighted to be able to implement this new functionality through blockchain technology. Through our partnership with Mitsubishi Logistics, we will be able to even more reliably deliver the high-quality medicines that patients need,” said Greg Timmons, Takeda’s Head of Global Manufacturing & Supply Japan.
“We will continue to develop and expand the functionality of our data platform using blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies and will work together with Takeda and other companies to ensure a stable supply of pharmaceuticals while maintaining quality in pharmaceutical logistics,” said Hitoshi Wakabayashi, Senior Managing Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation.
* 1 Blockchain is an “irreversible” database that continuously records the entire history of a product, making it accessible to all parties involved and making it impossible to falsify data. This means that all parties involved can trace any given product or item and see when, where, and from whom it came from. In addition, due to the nature of a distributed ledger, data security is ensured by maintaining the same ledger among multiple businesses, so that a partial failure will not affect the entire ledger.
* 2 Smart contracts are software stored on a blockchain that is executed when predetermined conditions are met. They are normally used to automate the execution of contracts so that all participants can see the results at once, without the involvement of intermediaries or loss of time. They can also automate workflows and initiate subsequent actions when certain conditions are met.
Takeda is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments, guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Genetics and Hematology, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI), with expertise in immune and inflammatory diseases. We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries and regions.
For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.
Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation
Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation provides integrated logistics services ranging from warehousing to land transportation and international transport. Through these services, it supports the supply chains of a wide range of customers in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, electronics and automotive parts industries. In the pharmaceutical area, the company provides high-quality logistics services by leveraging know-how accumulated over nearly 40 years of operating distribution centers for several pharmaceutical manufacturers. At present, the “development of high value-added services through advanced technologies” is positioned as one of the basic policies of its management plan and is thus promoting advanced technologies such as robotics, AI and blockchain. By promoting such advanced technologies to improve service quality and productivity, the company hopes to contribute to solving issues faced by its customers and society.
For more information, please visit https://www.mitsubishi-logistics.co.jp/.
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