Blockchain has been around for some time now and the hype surrounding it as the next big thing is insane; however, it is not until recently, that the pharmaceutical industry has begun to leverage the power of blockchain. One of the main reasons for this change in focus is the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).
To increase tracking and security features, the law requires to come up with an electronic interoperable system, which will require trading partners to exchange serial number information. FDA says that this will enhance their ability to help protect consumers from exposure to drugs that may be counterfeit, stolen, contaminated, or otherwise harmful. The system will also improve detection and removal of potentially dangerous drugs from the drug supply chain to protect U.S. consumers.
The current pharmaceutical scenario is based on a patchwork database, which makes large scale interoperability impossible.
Companies may choose a point to point interaction; however, not only is it very manual and costly, but it also leads to some other problems like counterfeit drug introduction and diversions.
The absence of a unique identifier on each unit sold makes drug recalls difficult and mismatch in supply chain logistics are common.
Blockchain offers immutable records while maintaining data privacy, which can help achieve interoperability in its true sense by creating an end-to-end trust network in the supply chain.
We must introduce authentication, serialization and tracking at unit level while maintaining immutable records and maintaining data privacy among trade partners.
Imagine a system based around serial numbers.
- Only authorized manufacturers can commission serial numbers on blockchains, this will reduce the possibility of counterfeits to enter the supply chain.
- There can be only one instance of a serial number in the entire supply chain, in case of a mismatch, counterfeit detection will take place within seconds.
- Track and trace would be a breeze as each stage that the drug goes through can be easily verified.
- Rapid drug recalls in case of emergencies will be possible.
This blockchain based network can be used by companies as a service.
This is not just for the US. With drug regulations coming up in Europe, Asia, and South America for tracking and authentication, supply chain security could be tomorrow’s necessity. WinterGreen Research suggests a dramatic transformation of blockchain market share from a mere $706 million in 2017 to a whopping $60 billion by 2024. This suggests we are moving towards a future of transparency and traceability in the supply chain. If you want to invest in blockchain this might be the right time.
We at i2e Consulting provide Blockchain solutions to pharmaceuticals at competitive pricing. Leave us a reply if you are looking to incorporate blockchain into your business workflow.