How Can Blockchain Be Implemented in the Pharmaceutical Industry?
If you read our blog, you know blockchain and the value of this innovative technology better than anyone else. For those who are new to blockchain, we welcome you to read our article about its benefits: Blockchain: the benefits of an Immutable Ledger and to understand better where all this hype is coming from. Coming back to the topic, blockchain owns its reputation by providing many valuable advantages for everyday business and more complex operations. In this article, we want to disclose how the technology could be and already is implemented in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, we will discuss track and trace potential in this topic.
You might be surprised, but the pharma industry is already familiar with blockchain technology, to be more concrete, more than 60% of pharmaceutical companies are using or experimenting with blockchain. One of the great examples to be named is Pfizer. The brand is appealing to blockchain due to growing levels of counterfeit drugs. Another company is UnitedHealthcare: they implement distributed ledger technology to cut costs and guarantee that data is up to date. Some more examples are Roche, NMC HEALTHCARE. Then, the question is: why such an ancient industry is more broadly using blockchain technology?
To explain this process, we should look closer to the issues that the pharmaceutical industry is facing. Those mainly are fake and counterfeit drugs, inefficient supply chain management, lack of data, inadequate proof of authenticity, and bogus pharmaceutical industry certifications. For instance, the World Health Organization conducted research showing that trade in fraudulent pharmaceuticals is worth $30 billion. Gladly, blockchain can solve most of these problems in a blink of an eye and help the industry to get back on its feet.
Blockchain Can Help Solving Counterfeit Drugs Problem
Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a dangerous and severe issue that legal manufacturers and authorities have been fighting for decades. However, it’s not stopping, and as previously discussed, the fake pharmaceutical industry worth is growing relentlessly. Therefore, manufacturers and even consumers had to come up with more effective ways to fight this harsh threat. That’s how blockchain found its way to the pharmaceutical industry, to give a hand with battling counterfeiters.
The solution is rather simple, by using different tagging techniques (QR codes, NFC tags, Barcodes), manufacturers could tag produced drugs and register their details in the blockchain system. This option would be helpful when medications are distributed and become sensitive to outer attacks. Moreover, it can be a valuable feature to authenticate returned drugs. Perhaps, not many know that a lot of drugs are brought back to manufacturers. Thereby, to arrange a safe way of putting them back to the marketplace, there has to be a solution to ensure the authenticity of a product. Blockchain can solve this issue by providing an extensive database where all this information can be stored and accessed by responsible parties.
Supply Chain Product Tagging Using Blockchain Technology
A supply chain of any kinds of products is a vulnerable matter. Sometimes it can take months or years to deliver a product to the endpoint. Therefore, it’s not surprising when those goods are stolen, misplaced or counterfeited. There’ve been many debates on how to solve this problem, and one of the solutions is supply chain digitization. The process can be done in many different ways, but up to this day, blockchain has the most potential. To provide such service, products, in this particular case drugs, have to be tagged and registered on a blockchain server. However, to fulfill this plan, there have to be several checkpoints throughout a supply chain where designated people or machines could prove the authenticity of shipped goods.
LuxTag can be an example to represent a track and trace feature. Our digital tagging solution works as described to produce the best results for our and your customers. We will tag and list the data about your product on blockchain and ensure that all updates will be recorded during the journey through a supply chain. LuxTag team has a long history of fighting the fakes market by implementing our revolutionary anti-counterfeit solution.
The Role of Smart Contracts in Clinical Trials
Smart contracts on blockchain are an excellent way to register data and store it without a high chance of it being lost or falsified. Storing smart contracts on a distributed ledger like blockchain gives a time-stamping feature. The time-stamping feature ensures higher transparency levels. As a result, it could be used to record clinical trials and display the consent of subjects. Currently, the industry is suffering from the lack of information about clinical trials and struggles to prove the consent of such acts. Thus, neither doctors nor patients have access to such information which causes doubts of medication status.
Blockchain is one of the most versatile technologies of our age. It serves many advantages such as better transparency, higher security and privacy levels, and accessibility. The pharmaceutical industry recognizes blockchain’s potential, and it is trying to implement it to solve existing issues. From backing up data of most vital updates to digitizing a supply chain, blockchain has a long history as an efficient problem solver. As with the time the technology is enhancing, we can expect it to improve the pharmaceutical industry, too.