Researchers from Sweden have identified the advantages of employing smart contracts on blockchain platforms within the pharmaceutical supply chain to combat counterfeit drugs. Despite the estimated value of the counterfeit market exceeding $200 billion and the numerous benefits it offers, blockchain technology has not been fully integrated into the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Key Challenges in the Pharma Supply Chain
The pharmaceutical supply chain faces various challenges, including lengthy transportation distances, limited transparency regarding inventory levels, and the risk of cargo theft. These challenges often result in inventory shortages. Additionally, the development of expensive drugs to treat rare diseases necessitates their timely availability, making real-time insights an imperative requirement.
Advantages of Blockchain Technology for the Pharma Supply Chain
Blockchain technology offers compelling advantages in addressing the aforementioned challenges within the pharmaceutical supply chain. By providing timely data and enhancing the authenticity, integrity, and immutability of shared data, blockchain mitigates the risks associated with counterfeit drugs and inaccurate information.
One key benefit of incorporating blockchain technology in the pharmaceutical supply chain is its compatibility with other technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and barcodes. Moreover, blockchain’s real-time accessibility throughout the supply chain enables the implementation of paperless mechanisms that establish an unalterable and decentralized system, thereby preventing fraud. The utilization of smart contracts, which play a crucial role in facilitating international trade and logistics operations, allows users to trace counterfeit returns back to the producer and supplier using RFID tags.
Blockchain also goes on to offer non-modifiable data uploading along with traceability and cost-effective data storage. Additionally, patients and sponsors gain real-time access to clinical trial data, reducing the overall cost of trials.
Detecting counterfeit drugs within complex distribution networks is a challenging task. However, according to insights, there’s a framework that employs smart contracts and distributed ledgers to effectively tackle this issue in the drug supply chain.
Summing It up
Implementing blockchain technology with smart contracts ensures end-to-end protection and privacy in the pharmaceutical supply chain. It presents opportunities for incident detection and reduction, comprehensive auditing of the chain, and transparency throughout the entire business rather than focusing solely on transactions.