India is world’s largest producer of generic drugs and there exists a major problem of counterfeit drugs. Apart from domestic consumption, India is the second largest exporter of drugs to the United States accounting for 40% of generics consumed in the U.S. According to WHO, around 10% of all medical products in India and other low-income countries are counterfeit.
NitiAayog, an Indian government think-tank, partnered with the technology giant Oracle and Apollo Hospitals. By integrating blockchain technology and a distributed ledger, the project aims to create immutable records of each pharma transaction that will be shared by the whole supply chain.
Blockchain’s ever increasing ledger based on blocks provides anonymity as well as security. It is widely known to solve trust issues between multiple businesses who would otherwise not share data – thereby leading to broken views of every supply chain. This resulted in fake drugs entering the market and loss of accountability in case of bad supplies. With this solution complete tracking history of a drug will be available right from pharma firms to distributors to pharmacists and to the end consumer. Hospitals will be added later to complete the final piece of the puzzle.
With the tie up with Apollo hospitals chain, the aim is to bring their entire inventory on blockchain which will help in reduction of counterfeit drugs as well as increase efficiencies. In addition, the government will get a bird’s eye view of all the drugs in supply and can identify and track discrepancies. In the words of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO of NitiAayog, “… is putting pharma supply chain management in blockchain for complete traceability of drugs from the manufacturer to consumer.”
Apart from this, there are various industries where blockchain hopes to bring about transparency. Even under the healthcare umbrella, there are several blockchain companies working on bringing transparency and security to patient records, DNA database creation and genomics.