Fake medicines: Here’s Niti Aayog, Apollo Hospital, Oracle & Pharma sciences blockchain fix

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Published: October 3, 2018 12:44:49 AM

NITI Aayog, Oracle, Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma aim to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency in tracing and tracking drugs manufactured in India.

Fake medicines, Niti Aayog, Apollo Hospital, Oracle, blockchain, blockchain fix, Indian pharma industryNiti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant with Oracle India MD Shailendra Kumar.

The problem of fake and counterfeit drugs is a major issue, costing the Indian pharma industry billions of rupees, said Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. “At the same time, it’s putting patients at higher risk.” In order to fight the growing problem of counterfeit drugs in the country, the government’s policy think-tank has teamed with global cloud leader Oracle, super specialty hospital Apollo Hospitals, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Strides Pharma Sciences, to pilot a real drug supply chain using blockchain decentralised ledger and IoT software.

“This agreement with Oracle and our partnership with Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma, will help ensure all Indian drug manufacturers and healthcare experts have access to a standards-based, modern technology platform—blockchain and IoT, to help eliminate fake drug distribution,” said Kant.

Together, NITI Aayog, Oracle, Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma aim to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency in tracing and tracking drugs manufactured in India. Oracle’s blockchain software permanently registers a drug’s record in the manufacturer’s drug supply chain (serial number, labelling, scanning), leaving no scope for record tampering. From here on, at every point of hand change, it records the drug’s movement—from manufacturer to logistics, from stockist to hospital, or from pharmacy to consumer. In case of a fake drug, the software will detect irregularity and notify the concerned nodal point.

Additionally, Oracle IoT provides functionality to track critical information such as chemical ingredients of the drug or maintenance of temperature control in case of life saving drugs or vaccines. A recent report by World Health Organisation estimates 20% of all drugs sold in India are fake. Also, as the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, India is reported to be the source of 35% of all counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.

Shailender Kumar, regional managing director, Oracle India, said, “With blockchain, every movement of the drug through its supply chain is recorded—that way, the drug supply chain is completely transparent, secure, decentralised and verifiable. We believe blockchain and IoT can play a significant role in ceasing fake drug distribution.”

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