An Indian group of experts plans to use blockchain technology to prevent the sales and supply of counterfeit drugs. The National Institute of Transforming India (Niti Aayog) backed by the Indian government is working on a blockchain Proof-Of-Concept (POC) to combat the menace.
According to the publication by Factor Daily, an Indian news outlet, the Niti Aayog group wants to place the entire drug inventory in India on a blockchain system. This move is the latest on a series of efforts to put a stop to the prevalent counterfeit drug trade in India. The system Proof-Of-Concept should be ready by December this year.
Speaking on the this latest development, the Director General of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance – an Indian medical lobby group said that the idea is a welcoming one consider that “Fake drugs are a concern and if blockchain can help the industry get rid of the problem we are up for it.”
Fake drugs are a big problem in India. World Health Organisation (WHO) puts that one in every five drugs manufactured in India is either fake or substandard. Also, a New York Times reveals that India is the second largest top seller of counterfeit medicine globally. The fake drugs market is by Market Place to be $75 billion dollars as at 2014.
Using Blockchain in Combating Counterfeit Drugs: How It Works.
The Proof-Of-Concept works by using a unique identification code merged with every individual drug produced in India. The entire supply chain the drug would pass through can then be tracked using Blockchain. Since the blockchain system is immutable and impossible to manipulate, the whole stage from manufacturing, shipping and destination can be archived securely. For information purposes, buyers would be able to scan the QR code on the drugs using a smartphone to verify the data about that particular drug.
Industry experts are worried that putting the country’s entire drug inventory on blockchain could result in at least 25% production losses due to insufficient packaging capacity. This concern the Niti Aayog group said can only impact the market for only a short period.
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The adoption of blockchain technology is gaining pace in India as it is all over the globe. Last week we that an Indian company is partnering with the government of Andhra Pradesh (AP) to design a blockchain database use for collecting and storing DNA data of its estimated 50 million citizens.