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In an unprecedented move, at least half-a-dozen Indian drugmakers, including Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Cipla, Lupin and Zydus Cadila, have partnered with ABCD Technologies LLP to digitize the country’s vast medicine distribution infrastructure for better tracking of product movement.

The platform will allow drug stores to gauge availability of prescription drugs, which in turn will help companies reduce wastage and address any shortages.

“If you see (covid-19 drugs) favipiravir or remdesivir, so many people don’t even know where to get them. The entire supply chain between distributors, stockists and chemists is very scattered... The tracking mechanism will allow a chemists to tell patients where they can find the medicine if it is out of stock. It will also allow a distributors to recognize batches that may be about to expire and send it to chemists so that the medicine is consumed and there is no wastage," said Girish Vanvari, founder , Transaction Square, which managed the ABCD Technologies deal.

Boosting infra
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Boosting infra

On Monday, ABCD Technologies LLP completed the acquisition of a 91.8% stake in Pharmarack through the purchase of shares from its shareholders for 111 crore. The partnership is in the process of acquiring the remaining stakes over the next five years.

The entity will also pick up a 33% stake in pharmaceutical market research firm AIOCD Pharmasofttech AWACS Pvt. Ltd for 75 crore. Over the next few months it will acquire the remaining stakes. ABCD Technologies will be renamed IndoHealth Services LLP.

“The business model of Pharmatrack is to connect distributors and chemists. Right now, they are good in Maharashtra. That will now go nationwide with the strength of the partnership. Similarly, AWACS is one of the most favoured subscriptions (for pharmaceutical market research) and that will also be grown," Vanvari said.

The track-and-trace mechanism is similar to the Indian drug regulator’s proposed mechanism to monitor the supply chain for key drugs using a bar code system.

Vanvari said the entity is also looking to rope in other pharma companies in the initiative and is in talks with some large Indian drugmakers other than the ones mentioned above.

“There is a lot of interest from other pharmaceutical companies and they are keen to be a part of this initiative," Vanvari said but declined to name the drugmakers as they are listed on the stock exchanges.

The initiative is in support of the National Digital Health Mission of the government, which had envisaged supply chain management as a key component, said the six drug companies in their respective statements.

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