OnAsset supply chain tracking device deployed to address medicine diversion in Malawi

Research implications abound for countries and industries struggling with supply chain diversion and theft

DALLAS (August 1, 2022)OnAsset Intelligence recently supplied technology to a public-private research partnership to audit and combat drug shipment diversion in Malawi. Alongside the Malawi Ministry of Health, OnAsset worked with the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of California, San Diego to audit medicine distribution in real time using OnAsset’s suite of technologies. OnAsset’s solution helped the government better understand how to improve upon the delivery of health services.

With support from the World Bank and the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the primary goal of the research was to evaluate how electronic tracking technology can improve insight into supply chain breakdowns and the ability to pinpoint and correct medicine diversion, particularly in environments where capacity and investment are low.

“In Malawi, researchers estimate that 29% of medicines are diverted and 75% of communities have experienced drug theft,” said Adam Crossno, CEO of OnAsset. “By placing OnAsset tracking devices and a monitoring warning label on medicine being shipped from Malawi Central Medical Stores Trust to healthcare facilities in Southern Malawi, researchers were able to gain visibility into the breakdown in medicine delivery.”

The Sentinel tracking devices used in the study gave researchers a real-time snapshot of the entire distribution network, allowing them to quantify medicines delivered and diverted. The research concluded that digital audits and targeted messaging can be effective tools in the anti-corruption arsenal. While diversion of medications and supplies is still rampant (at 40%), the study learned that not all diversion is due to theft. Researchers estimated that one-third of medications diverted during delivery were simply delivered to the wrong facility.

“This collaborative effort highlighted how digital tracking and auditing is an important first step to empowering all parties engaged in healthcare and medicine delivery,” said Ryan Jablonsky, Associate Professor at London School of Economics. “With this data, government entities are able to better shape future health policies and ensure more people have access to the medicines they need.”

About OnAsset

OnAsset has been providing cargo edge technology for detailed insight on shipments of valuable goods since 2005. OnAsset’s products deliver piece-level tracking across all modes of transportation in an environmentally sustainable way. OnAsset’s dedication to innovation has led to 17 patents, approval by 95 percent of worldwide airlines, coverage in over 160 countries, and millions of shipments annually. Learn more at and follow OnAsset on LinkedIn.