US Law Might Speed Up Blockchain Adoption in Pharma Industry

 In Altcoins

A US law from 2013 could push pharmaceutical companies to integrate DLT to track medicines.

Blockchain is primarily discussed in the context of financial markets disruption, but a US law could help it become an indispensable solution for the pharmaceutical industry as well, Bloomberg reports. The Drug Supply Chain Security Act from 2013 obliges drug makers and supply chain providers to improve tracking methods to prevent the spread of counterfeit medicines and speed up drug recalls.

Within less than two years, hospitals and pharmacies will be required to check whether the medicines they distribute originate from drug makers or repackagers. Currently, big pharma companies are thinking about ways of complying with the law, but healthcare analysts have already found the answer – blockchain. The distributed ledger technology (DLT), an umbrella term that encompasses blockchain, might be the ideal tool, especially when the deadline is tight.

Chet Stagnaro of healthcare advisory company Freed Associates told Bloomberg:

“The best bet going right now appears to be blockchain.”

He explained that companies should switch to the new technology also because of the drawbacks of traditional software.

“The potential is definitely there,” Stagnaro concluded.

While blockchain remains a hype concept for most industries, it might become a reality for the healthcare sector. The Center for Supply Chain Studies (C4SCS) has carried out several research projects and trials since 2017 to check whether blockchain could facilitate compliance with the law. Drug makers, supply chain operators, and pharmacies also took part in the experiments.

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C4SCS founder Robert Celeste said that gathering tens of thousands of pharmacies into a single database is a challenging move, but blockchain can handle this task with ease.

“From the blockchain point of view, there is still a lot of work to be done, but it’s being done in earnest,” he noted.

The Drug Supply Chain Security Act requires of companies to track every drug package separately, while the current infrastructure can handle medicines in batches, KPMG’s Arun Ghosh explained. He expects blockchain to improve existing software systems rather than entirely replace them.

It seems that some pharma companies are already preparing to adopt the new technology. Last year, a group of drug makers including Pfizer and Genentech launched the MediLedger Project – a platform designed to leverage blockchain to control pharmaceutical supply chains.

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