Counterfeit drugs are a significant problem in the pharmaceutical industry. As per reports by WHO, an estimated 1 in 10 medical products circulating in low-and-middle-income countries were either substandard or fake. In the US alone, wholesalers encounter almost 60 million returns a year, accounting for an estimated $7 billion.
In this scenario, unlocking the potential of blockchain in the field of pharmaceutical and healthcare is quite promising. SAP has taken this initiative and launched a blockchain-based supply chain tracking system to allow drug wholesalers to authenticate pharmaceutical packaging returned by pharmacies and hospitals. This DLT solution helps them weed out counterfeit drugs from their supply chain.
The new software enables customers to ratify the product code, the expiration date, lot, and the unique serial number embedded in the barcode against manufacturers’ data stored in the blockchain.
The company’s strategy is to create an open network. Hence, deploying the MultiChain blockchain. It stores the data in which the verification can be done against the blockchain rather than burdening the company’s systems with the large volume of requests.
According to their blog post, Dr. Oliver Nuernberg, Chief Product Owner, SAP for Life Sciences solution portfolio, SAP SE, said that
“This blockchain product supports the industry’s need for an immutable and shared ledger, avoiding many complex integrations. With this product, we are offering a scalable and secure solution to pharmaceutical manufacturers and U.S. wholesalers to comply with the upcoming regulatory requirements for verification.”
However, linking to SAP Cloud Platform enables third-party integration more quickly into serialization processes in an agile supply chain and to vastly improve drug traceability.
The immutable blockchain tracking system will enable compliance with the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and the law comes into force in November 2019.
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