What is the Availability of Blockchain in the Pharmacy Supply Chain?August 21, 2018
Blockchain is a digital ledger technology which is sweeping through a series of industries on a wave of propaganda. Could the inherent transparency, reliability, and security of the technology have applications in the pharmaceutical world? The answer appears to be a concerned yes. But how could this underpinning technology enhance the pharmaceutical supply chain?
Blockchain is quickly becoming the buzzword of the industry at the moment. It includes industries ranging from energy suppliers to financial services. At its core, blockchain software is a digital ledger system utilized to log and record transactions. It groups them into chronologically-ordered blocks.
Blockchain Technology Moving into the Pharmacy Sector
The blockchain is the sustaining technology for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Thus, a lot of healthcare sector might have heard of it in connection with the several big-scale ransomware attacks. It typically demands payment in the form of cryptocurrency, which has hit public health systems in the past years.
For public health systems and patients, blockchain could be a natural facilitator for electronic health records. These are considered shareable between various health organizations without damaging the security of the data.
The Reliability of Supply Chain
There are various intuitive applications for blockchain technology in the public healthcare. However, what about the pharmaceutical industry which is accountable for establishing, producing and distributing the medicines utilized in such settings each day?
Some probabilities are being considered in the sector. But one aspect of the pharma landscape is ripe for improvement: the medicine supply chain. The problem of counterfeit medicines has become pressing, both regarding risk to human life and economic cost of the global black market. These come from taking counterfeit drugs, which may not have the similar dosage levels or active ingredients as the real thing.
Tracking Medicines with Blockchain Technology
As such, pharma distributors and companies around the globe are considering choices for enhancing chain security and traceability. In the past few years, blockchain technology has become a vital part of the conversation. Also, the 21st-century drug distribution chain has grown massively in complexity and scope. On the other hand, lagging behind in the management systems and digital technologies needed to secure and simplify the procedure.
Per se, there is in-built vulnerabilities in the pharmacy supply chain at the most points where medicines transfer ownership on their ways to patients. It also involves transferring to pharma manufacturers and other stakeholders where they have less visibility to monitor the authenticity of the items.
Blockchain can present substantial benefits here, along with barcode-tagged medicines scanned and entered into safe digital blocks every time they changed hands. For instance, the XinFin blockchain has advanced smart contracting capacities and highly tailored private sub-networks. It serves as permissioned blockchains. Bu using the highly secure, fast, scalable XinFin blockchain, cryptocurrencies can be utilized to offer liquidity for several use cases. XDC network will play as settlement and smart contracting layer.
For now, the drug supply chain signifies the most apparent candidate for improvement through blockchain. It could result in a drug supply network which is more efficient, more secure and less costly to operate in.