The raise of counterfeit drugs poses a growing challenge to
Governments, as well as the Pharmaceutical Industry and the World Health Organization:
it is not only an intellectual property problem but also a major health issue,
jeopardizing life of millions people.
Even if developed countries have mostly secured their supply, from the
laboratories to the pharmacies, the European Union estimated the shortfall
caused by counterfeit drugs to the European pharmaceutical industry at €10
Developing countries are even more vulnerable to counterfeit drugs
with very tangible impacts on individuals’ health: a research from the
University of Edinburgh estimates that 72 000 to 169 000 children are dying
from pneumonia each year due to fake or substandard antibiotics. Meanwhile, the
World Health Organization has modelized that, in the lower income countries, 1
medical product on 10 is substandard or falsified, $30 billions worth2.
The blockchain provides solutions to tackle the problem and improve
significantly drug traceability, thanks to its very nature: decentralized,
transparent, immutable and secured. The ability to create a private blockchain
allows the industry to keep all data secured while increasing the level of
control on every single parcel.
As Anca PETRE, Healthcare Market Analyst at Humaniq – an organization
developing banking to those who are excluded from the financial services, with
the blockchain – declared in her research:
“The pharmaceutical companies decide
which actors of the supply chain act as miners. It could be manufacturers,
distributors or retailers. Depending on the position on the supply chain, each
person could have different rights: labs can register drugs whilst wholesalers
can only verify transactions.”
With product traceability all along the supply chain, suppliers can be
granted permission to source each drug back to its origin and prove its
authenticity. This unforgeable proof of
fabrication could improve trust of populations and stakeholders in the
entire industry, and finally, help to save millions of lives around the globe.