Blockchain technology will soon be applied in pharmaceutical industry. Many people may not be aware of this, but blockchain technology has found its application far beyond the world of cryptocurrencies. Cryptos, and payment systems in general, are just one of the possible fields where blockchain can show its full potential.
Blockchain Entering Private and Government Sector
Recently, we have witnessed many privately-owned companies turning to blockchain. The leaders in this respect are companies dealing in supply management. However, this is just tip of the iceberg. Gigantic companies, such as Walmart, or Louis Vuitton for that matter, transferred their management systems to blockchain. This enabled them to track the origins of their goods. Specifically, of each item. They can track the entire process of manufacturing, from raw material, through industrial phases and distribution, even to second-hand stores.
We have also seen private companies worldwide investing in blockchain-based energy supply. In this particular field, blockchain technology enables the users to get less expensive, clean energy from renewable resources and to trade with it.
On the other hand, government-owned entities have obviously been exploring this field for some time and are slowly introducing blockchain in their businesses. One of the latest examples is The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). They recognized the importance of securing the transparency and immutability of data. The way they see it, blockchain technology can help them in protecting their records.
Blockchain and Pharmaceutical Industry
FDA, the US Food and Drug Administration, has recently announced introduction of blockchain and its implementation in a program to support the US Drug Supply Chain Security Act. This means that FDA will be able to track and identify the prescription drugs and vaccines that are distributed in the USA. Apart from the FDA, there are other companies included in this program. Namely, KPMG, Merck, Walmart, IBM. Their involvement indicates that one of the important factors in this project is sharing data. Blockchain can provide this and enable all parties involved to access exact, detailed information of each step of the drugs production, distribution and sales.
The advantage of this program is in a fact that all mentioned companies have previously developed their own way of doing business on blockchain. Therefore, they already have their own experience which they can incorporate into the joint project.
The goals of introducing blockchain in pharmaceutical industry include better accuracy of all data that we share. Also, drastically saving on time needed to track the provenance of goods and inventory. Furthermore, blockchain enables constant and instant input into the status of products. While all this is important, one of the main goals is becoming able to fight black market. It has been reported that the drug market is estimated at approximately $200 billion worldwide.
FDA has reportedly announced that the implementation would be finished by the end of 2019. There are voices claiming that this implementation could result in development of a new blockchain platform with an open-source codebase. While we are far from this stage, we cannot but ask ourselves whether this would be a smart thing to do.
What do you think?