Banking And InsuranceTechnologyReducing Counterfeit Drugs with a Blockchain Application

AdminMarch 12, 2019459 min



  • Abstract

    The article details the need for a blockchain healthcare application to reduce counterfeit medicines. It explains how blockchain solutions supplement the pharmaceutical industry to stop the influx of counterfeit drugs in distribution.

    Studies show that pharma companies face critical issues when counterfeit drugs get into the mainstream supply. Not only them, but also the patients who take such medications.

    Blockchain, by its design, is (i) immutable, (ii)  robust, (iii) reliable, and (vi) secure. By using blockchain across the entire value chain, stakeholders can avoid several challenges and pitfalls.

    In this article, we attempt to provide a roadmap on how stakeholders can use a blockchain healthcare application to better the counterfeit situation.

    Reducing Counterfeit Drugs with a Blockchain Healthcare Application 

    Improper management of the supply chain is one of the biggest challenges in any every industry. Especially, healthcare has additional risk and complexity. A compromised supply chain in healthcare means compromised safety of patients.

    Increased globalization, adoption of technology, and the involvement of multiple stakeholders are the reason for a complicated health supply chain.

    According to a study, global pharmaceutical sales estimate was USD 1.1 trillion in the year 2015. No doubt, the number could be twice or more in the future.

    Here, a blockchain healthcare application can prove to be the panacea.  Blockchain improves integrity, security, and data provenance of the supply chains with its attributes like transparency, immutability, and auditability.

    Blockchain in Pharma Supply Chain: Re-modeling the Process

    Generally, these stakeholders have their involvement in the dispersal of drugs:

    • Manufacturers
    • Logistic Service Providers
    • Distributors
    • Hospitals/Pharmacies

    Manufacturing of drugs and adding QR codes

    After manufacturing the drugs, a manufacturer adds the QR code to them. It provides information like item name, timestamp, location and manufacturing, and the expiry date. A blockchain healthcare application, probably built on the Ethereum blockchain, stores all the information on the database. Once information added to the blockchain, a hash ID tracks back the transactions.

    Further, the IoT-enabled vehicles with temperature sensors ship them to the distributors to allow cold-chain shipping.

    You may also like:  Blockchain in Healthcare | For Reorganizing Your Healthcare Experience

    Stakeholders can exchange and store the data gathered by the temperature sensors on the blockchain for tracking anomalies. In the case of an audit of the storage conditions of temperature-sensitive drugs, the distributed ledger (blockchain) can save a considerable amount of time.

    Dispersal of drugs to hospitals/pharmacies

    Once the drugs delivered to distributors, they check the provenance of medicines using the hash ID stored on the blockchain. They can access all the information added by the manufacturers.

    Then, distributors verify the received drugs and sign the transactions digitally. It triggers smart contracts to enable the delivery of drugs to hospitals/pharmacies.

    Hospitals/pharmacies receive drugs and validate their authenticity

    Hospitals/pharmacies receive drugs and validate their authenticity

    After receiving the drugs, pharmacists can trace back the origin of the drugs through the hash ID. They can even trace if any illegal distributor has tried to counterfeit drugs with a fake drug ID. It will nullify the transactions because of the fraudulent information provided about the drug.

    Also, unauthorized individuals won’t be able to execute transactions in the drug supply chain ecosystem. Only those who have access to a valid private key would be able to do so. Ultimately, pharmacies would be able to track anomalies happened within the transactions immediately.

    Upon the approval of drugs by the pharmacist, blockchain would store the transaction and ensure a legal trade.

    Patients check the drugs using the QR code to track the origin

    Patients can ensure whether the medication they are buying is safe or not. They need to scan the QR code via a mobile app to know its source and quality standards.

    Again, through the hash ID attached to the QR code patients can access all essential details.

    Eventually, the use of a blockchain application would enable streamlined monitoring of movement and stakeholders involved in the distribution of drugs.

    Oodles Blockchain also strive to develop efficient blockchain based healthcare applications for pharma supply chains

    Our blockchain experts develop such applications on a distributed ledger platform to enable end-to-end traceability of drugs. Clients looking to solve problems like thefts transparency, and recalls in the shipment of medicines can connect with us.

    Indeed, healthcare blockchain solutions provided by our team of blockchain development experts empower the entire drug supply chain. By equipping it with tracing and traceability features of blockchain, they transform your pharmaceutical supply chain.

    The bottom line

    Using a blockchain healthcare application, we can shift the governance model of the drug supply chain to surveillance net (where every stakeholder survey the actions in the supply chain in a transparent way.)



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