By Sherree DeCovny, Co-Founder and Research Principal
Pharmaceutical companies are exploring the use of blockchain technology to address an array of challenges. At the IEEE’s Pharma Supply Blockchain Forum in Rockville, MD on June 6, a group of pharmaceutical supply chain managers came together to listen to presentations by their peers, vendors, research analysts and lawyers. Importantly, they also had the chance to ask questions – many of which have no definitive answer at this stage.
Here are four key takeaways from the event:
Blockchain could improve visibility, traceability, patient safety and regulatory compliance. The technology has the potential to interconnect node systems that currently don’t speak to each other well – whether they’re between trusted participants in a supply chain, or within an organization. As each drug passes from the manufacturer, wholesaler and shipper to the pharmacy and the patient level, an individual block of immutable data could be created, allowing product to be tracked and traced.
Counterfeit medicines are a major problem in the healthcare system, and it affects all parts of the global supply chain. No one knows the true scope of the problem because it’s very difficult to measure this type of criminal activity. In one high profile case from 2012, the FDA detected fake versions of the anti-cancer drug Avastin, which were made from cornstarch and acetone. Blockchain could potentially unify various technology formats, including barcode scanning and RFID, and create a shared, trustworthy, accountable and transparent data platform that could advance anti-counterfeit activities.
Importantly, the technology could facilitate compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the U.S., which mandates a national track and trace system, and the Falsified Medicines Directive and Medi-Crime Convention in Europe.
By Jen Massing Harris, Co-Founder and Operations
Chain Business Insights is headed to St. Louis, MO to participate in the Distributed: Trade conference taking place on July 24th – and we’ll be focusing on how blockchain technology will impact the food supply chain.
Distributed: Trade, which debuted last year, is organized by BTC Media. The event brings together financial services, global payments, insurance services, supply chain management and capital market experts for in-depth explorations of blockchain technology and its transformational impact on these global industries.
As Distributed: Trade’s official Research Partner, Chain Business Insights is drawing on its exclusive research in the food supply chain space to lead a panel on “Addressing Food Supply Chain Challenges with Blockchain”. To scene set for the panel, Research Principal Sherree DeCovny will outline current issues and challenges facing food supply chain participants. Fellow Research Principal Pete Harris will then moderate the panel, which will comprise technology innovators to provide insight on how those challenges might be addressed with blockchain
For more information on the entire conference, and to register, visit https://trade.distributed.com. Note: Chain Business Insights clients should note the discounted registration offer and analyst meeting request information below