“Up to 76% of US adults take some form of dietary supplement, however these products are not subject to the F.D.A.’s premarket review or approval requirements for safety and effectiveness.”
Many ask why we started RB Technologies. Access to healthcare and proper nutrition have always been problems within our society. Up to 76% of US adults take some form of dietary supplement, and there are still massive problems with the quality of supplements in the marketplace and misinformation about product claims.
In fact, under a 1994 federal law, supplements are exempt from the FDA’s strict approval process for prescription drugs, which requires reviews of a product’s safety and effectiveness before it goes to market. Supplements are assumed to be safe until the authorities can prove otherwise. Consequently, they are pulled from shelves only after serious injuries occur, which is not uncommon. The FDA requires that companies verify that every supplement they manufacture is safe and accurately labeled. However, the system essentially operates on the honor code.
While most of the population relies on dietary supplements for different reasons, all supplements use wordings such as “quality”, “natural”, and “certified” in their marketing. However, there is no way to truly prove these claims for their products. How can consumers know which supplements to trust in this landscape? The short answer is they can’t.
Growing Supply Chain Problems
It may be easy to say that supplement manufacturers are trying to cut corners and make a quick buck off consumers and that this is what leads to these quality and safety issues. However, that is not the case. Most manufacturers do try to make quality products and have consumer safety in mind.
“60% of manufacturers still use paper-based solutions to document their manufacturing processes”
However, it’s been found that up to 60% of manufacturers are still using paper and pen or MS Word and Excel to document and track their processes, which, in turn, makes the entire supply chain paper based. This leads to numerous user errors, faulty documentation practices, and inconsistencies not only within companies but throughout the entire industry.
Manufacturers are overwhelmed by paperwork, fearful of FDA audits, and want to move away from paper-based solutions while streamlining their processes. With the strict regulations they have to follow, manufacturers are in need of a digital solution that will encompass their specific business needs and help ensure the quality of their products.
RB Technologies set out to solve these problems for consumers and manufacturers. We designed a fully integrated supply chain network and software solution manufacturers can use to track and document their processes. They can also share batch-specific information with consumers to build transparency and trust.
OmniBlocks was designed around cGMP (21 CFR Part 111) regulations that supplement manufacturers are required to follow. This regulation is in place to ensure product quality and safety. OmniBlocks provides manufacturers with a simple-to-use cloud-based application to manage everything from inventory control, batch processing, supplier management, and quality applications.
In addition, OmniBlocks is applicable at every point throughout the supply chain and can help manufacturers, raw material suppliers, and even farmers, share key data at each point within the supply chain. Additionally, OmniBlocks is built around a blockchain network, which acts as an immutable data structure, to truly verify the information throughout the network and confirm that no fraud has taken place.
Establishing Transparency and Trust
“90% of consumers prefer transparent brands”
Consumers want honest products and do not want to spend hours researching ingredients or if these products actually work. With the use of OmniBlocks, manufacturers are provided a scannable certification mark that can be placed on the bottle. It shares batch-specific information with consumers.
By sharing ingredient source and purity and product quality checks, manufacturers can prove to consumers that not only is the product safe, but also reliable. Additionally, since all the information gathered is backed on a blockchain network, the trust OmniBlocks provides is built into the technology and not seen as another marketing tactic.
Moving Forward with OmniBlocks
While RB Technologies is currently focused on the dietary supplement industry, we realize OmniBlocks can be beneficial to an array of other health-related industries such as food, medical marijuana, CBD, and pet food/supplements. RBT is actively expanding into those markets to help provide trust and transparency to consumers while also helping manufacturers digitalize and secure their supply chains.
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