- Blockchain technology is an important inclusion in the pharmaceutical industry for the reliable Supply of medicines and reducing counterfeiting
- Various benefits of Blockchain in Pharma make it an enticing option in order to gain consumer trust
The idea of Pharmaceutical companies including Blockchain technology in the integrated regulation of the Supply chain of their manufactured products seems like a peculiar idea. Blockchain technology was created in order to give rise to a newer, decentralized form of currency that the whole world now knows as cryptocurrency. But in this dynamic world, where it seems like anything can evolve and improvise on its own, it’s no surprise that the use case of Blockchain technology in various discrete industries has been a lot more vast than just being a currency for financing and economic endeavors.
Curious Case of Pharma Industry
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), Counterfeit medicinal drugs are floating on the market in abundance, causing a severe threat to the well-being of Humans. Figures state that approximately 10% of medicinal drugs available on the market are shams. Also in 2019, WHO data suggested that over 1 million deaths occur annually due to the consumption of these illicit drugs. It’s an epidemic, if not a pandemic, and in order to tackle these issues, the manufacturing and distribution of the drug at every stage have to be kept in check.
Supply Chain Management is a vast task on its own, which includes various manpower resources. Thus, in order to maintain authenticity, and ensure traceability with utmost transparency and security, it is one hell of a task. A system being built that can’t be forged by the intervention of any External being can be the only solution, and that’s where Blockchain technology jumps in with its characteristics of a decentralized ledger system and immutability, helping the pharmaceutical industry confront this significant issue.
Why Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology, which is already hailed as a groundbreaking innovation by many, has the potential to revolutionize the Supply Chain Management system of the pharmaceutical Industry. The framework that Blockchain technology provides for supply chain flow from one stage to another is unique and formidable.
Unauthorized production and distribution of medicines have not just jeopardized human well-being but also diminished the trust factor in the Pharma Industry. In order to rebuild and reform this trust, Blockchain technology is all set to be an enticing option for the greater good of humanity
Functioning of Supply Chain through Blockchain
During the very initial process of manufacturing, each batch or unit of medicine is allocated a unique digital token or cryptographic code that can be encrypted using the consensus mechanism of the respective blockchain network. The token encoded all the essential information in an encrypted way. Information like the origin of the product, Ingredients, chemicals, and their composition in the product, as well as the quality check information that is noted during the manufacturing process.
These tokens are incorporated in a decentralized digital ledger that can be shared and distributed among a network of participants, from manufacturers to dealers and distributors, and further on to retailers and customers. There can be multiple middlemen, and each participant can have an encrypted copy of a decentralized ledger, which will ensure the integrity of the data and make sure that no participant should hamper or manipulate the data.
In the codes, Smart contracts will be self-sufficient and self-automated with their own set algorithm, which will ensure the verification of authority. Real-time visibility of products is also achievable, ensuring safer transit of medications worldwide.