SAP To Clean Up The Drug Industry With Blockchain Tracker That Targets Counterfeit Drugs

Blockchain technology has many use cases in different industries. Irrespective of the industry that is applying the technology, one thing is sure, it builds and guarantees trust. SAP recently launched a blockchain tracker that can be used to monitor the supply chain in the drug manufacturing and distribution industry. The blockchain-based system allows wholesalers to authenticate drug packaging that come back from pharmacies and hospitals.

SAP Uses Blockchain To Clean Up The Pharmaceutical Industry

While the Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences will be used to track the return of drugs from one place to the other, the company plans to expand the use of its blockchain to add a broader range of supply chain processes in the pharmaceutical industry. On a yearly basis, about 60 million pharmaceuticals worth $7 billion are returned to wholesalers.
It’s true that the most common use cases of blockchain technology are currently in the financial and shipping industries. However, statistics show that the healthcare industry is following up with speed. The traditional health care industry now intends to deploy blockchain technology because it is secure, more efficient, cheaper and broader than typical technology currently in use.

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The blockchain technology is going to help reshape interoperability in the healthcare sector because it will act as the next generation middleware that combines the distributed, decentralised and immutable characteristics of blockchain technology. This is according to the report that was released by IDC Health Insights last year.
The report estimated that by the year 2020, about 20% Of the healthcare industry would have progressed from the pilot stage to using blockchain technology for real-time operations. Things like patient identity and operations management will be suitable for blockchain technology.

Thanks to blockchain interoperability, data exchange will become more secure. It doesn’t matter if the data is being used by insurance companies, healthcare providers, pharmacies, or clinical researchers. In fall, SAP announced that it was working with about two dozen tech shipping companies, and twenty four pharmaceutical producers in a blockchain-based system for tracking the supply chain. The system will foster transparency and make sure that goods and services that go through the supply chain are authentic.

Already, SAP has piloted its Cloud platform blockchain with about 16 producer suppliers like including Johnsonville, Maple Leaf Foods, Tate & Lyle and Natura, Naturipe Farms, etc. The blockchain provides an abstract support layer and gives users built-in integration opportunities. The pharma community will use SAP’s blockchain based tracker to enable compliance with IDMP. This includes standard messaging specifications that are designed to permit unambiguous drug identification on a global scale.

Meanwhile, SAP said that it’s immutable blockchain tracking system will ensure compliance with the United States Drug Supply Chain Security Act. This will take effect in November 2019. It requires that wholesalers verify all prescription drugs after they are returned and before resale. The program allows customers to verify their product codes, expiration date, lot, serial numbers, etc.

Little by little, blockchain technology is becoming widely known as the go-to technology for transparency and accountability. In time, more industries will apply the technology promoting adoption further.

Do you think blockchain technology is going to remove corruption from the pharmaceutical supply chain industry entirely?

Ufuoma Ogono is a cryptocurrency writer with over 3 years experience in the cryptocurrency industry. She dedicates her time to sharing valuable information to members of the cryptocurrency community.


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