The blockchain-based project named MediLedger will be created to track and trace prescription medicines to in full compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). It’s also aimed at preventing counterfeit medicines from entering the supply chain.
Apart from Chronicled and The LinkLab, the partnership also includes drug giants Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Pfizer, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corporation.
If the initiative proves to be successful, everyone from drug makers to hospitals will record drug deliveries on a blockchain making the distribution process transparent and safe. The project is also expected to prevent cases of stolen or fake medications’ unloading. This blockchain-based application is a notable step towards consumer safety in a biopharmaceutical industry.
Ryan Orr, CEO of Chronicled, commented on the potential of blockchain tech in the pharma industry:
Traditional, centralized databases are like castles with moats. You can fortify them as much as you want, but a hacker will always find a clever way to sneak inside the castle. Blockchain introduces a whole new paradigm. It’s a distributed network, data is cryptographically secured, a breach in one node has no effect on the whole, and the consensus mechanism prevents malicious actors from tampering the system. That’s one of the things that’s really revolutionary about this technology. The pharma industry consists of large conservative companies, so it takes a lot of confidence to build up a network like this.
Having defined the industry requirements for the project, the companies will now be focusing on the development of business model and operating requirements.
“The immediate goal for us is to show that blockchain is the best solution for this need,” said Susanne Somerville, co-Founder of The LinkLab. “We are aiming to have done that by the end of the year. After that, the sky’s the limit.”
The expected advantages, this blockchain-based project offers pharma industry, go far beyond just securing supply chains. As Mr. Orr mentioned, the permission-based nature of the node system is a great way for firms to share information with their customers and partners without “leaking key business information.”
Marc Watrous, Genentech’s SVP of Managed Care and Customer Operations, considers blockchain tech to be a logical and expected extension of its efforts to assign unique traceable numbers to pharmaceutical products:
Ensuring the safety of people receiving our medicines is of utmost importance to us. We look forward to exploring the potential benefits that this pilot could provide in protecting our medicines across the entire supply chain.
Last year Chronicled startup also made headlines announcing the release of an open source tool for registering IoT items, including wearables and smart home objects. The new registry is designed to store the identities of physical objects, embedded with near-field communication and bluetooth low energy microchips. The new tool is also expected to increase interoperability among internet connected devices and expand the consumer IoT.