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Category: Pharma & LifeSciences

Blockchain for pharma industry: leveraging traceability for a unified workflow

There is no wonder blockchain is rapidly becoming the buzzword of the era with several industries ranging from energy suppliers, healthcare, to financial domain looking to capitalize on this new-age technology. Features like security, reliability, transparency, and traceability make blockchain for pharma industry promising as it helps addressing unique challenges of the sector.

Drug counterfeiting, unethical practices, and fraud-drug companies are a few of the popular and well-documented problems prevailing in the healthcare sector. It not only affects the patient’s life but also hampers the reputation and the ROI of the industry.

To stop these malpractices, the government has imposed this Global Traceability Standard for Healthcare (GTSH) that defines a standard process, privacy practices, laws, and global regulations. It is a minimum requirement for all the stakeholders involved in the drug supply chain to abide by the rules. Yet the full implementation of GTSH as a cohesive solution is still a work in progress. This is where Blockchain steps in!

The blockchain for pharma industry is an all-encompassing globally accepted solution that proves to be a boon for the sector as it secures data, integrates workflow, helps in tracking the drug supply chain, and seamlessly saves lives and dollars.

Pharma companies are always under immense competitive pressure to get their drugs to the market faster. In order to achieve this, they have to work in collaboration with different organizations to make the process simpler. But one of the biggest challenge companies’ face while embracing the collaborative way is how to protect their intellectual property rights within and across the supply chain.

Working as an individual drug manufacturer, researchers carefully guard their research findings and insights. The entire process goes like this:

“A researcher might complete an experiment in January and submit it to a journal in February. But the article is not published until May or June until it is peer-reviewed. This delays the completed experiment and the publication of insights which becomes a huge barrier in the innovation.”

In order to bring the drug faster to the market, collaboration is quite essential. Open source projects prove that collaboration can create true value and prove beneficial to tap into the success while driving innovation across organizations.

Earlier, on an average, releasing a new drug in the market took about 12 years. But after introducing the collaborative approach, organizations can definitely shorten the drug development as well as release time. It also helps in saving costs, time, and, ultimately enhances the patient’s lives.

Blockchain technology is based on an open distributed ledger technology which helps to resolve several problems like protecting intellectual rights, record transactions between two parties efficiently, verify and audit transactions accurately.

The technology replicates identical databases which are hosted and managed by interested collaborators. All the identical copies are simultaneously updated when a collaborator makes a change in one copy. Thus, every collaborator has access to the latest data in real-time.

On every uploaded document, blockchain creates permanent time and ownership stamps. This helps the researchers maintain proper data ownership even as they securely license it for use by other researchers and institutions.

Researchers can share their insights by collaborating with one another in a more reliable and open way. It provides a reliable platform for pharma researchers to share real-time data and insights with each other while protecting intellectual property ownership rights and setting new levels of collaboration.

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