How blockchain may weed out menace of fake drugs

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Published: May 8, 2018 6:29:04 PM

Blockchain technology will help in cutting down on number of frauds in the healthcare sector and better manage quality in the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products, according to a data firm.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Glenmark, Pharmaceuticals, US health regulator, Desonide ointment, skin problems, allergy, rashesThe World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the cost of counterfeit drugs to the healthcare industry at over billion. (Representative Image/Reuters)

Blockchain technology will help in cutting down on number of frauds in the healthcare sector and better manage quality in the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products, according to a data and analytics company GlobalData. The technology will also play a significant role in the providing support to supply chain transformation in the healthcare sector, the firm said. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the cost of counterfeit drugs to the healthcare industry at over $30 billion. The WHO terms counterfeiting as a significant problem and blockchain technology can help controlling the same.

“This isn’t just a financial loss; it also reflects the fact that in some markets, notably emerging economies, relying on ineffective medicines represents a risk to public health,” said Bonnie Bain, Global Head of Pharma at GlobalData

“The challenge of tracking pharmaceutical products from lab to patient is a significant one, with multiple opportunities for external parties to introduce counterfeit products. The ability to trace the journey of an individual dose of medicine from the time of manufacture to the time it is administered could have a significant impact on patient safety and could dramatically reduce the financial losses associated with counterfeiting”, he adds further.

The innovative solutions based upon blockchain technology are being worked by various technology and pharmaceutical companies which combine digital marking of pharmaceutical products with secure distributed ledger technology (blockchain) to provide a means to securely and reliably track products throughout their entire lifecycle.

Companies like IBM are working on blockchain-based platforms that can securely track and trace products from the procurement of the raw materials, through to manufacture and consumption.

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