How the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Felt the Need for Blockchain

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After Bitcoin’s successful launch, it has prompted the creation of thousands of other cryptocurrencies and hence promoted the underlying technology which is blockchain. It is no wonder why people always associate cryptocurrency with blockchain and most often, people who know about this technology in a shallow perspective, think that the digital currencies are blockchain’s only possible application. But that is a big misconception. And European Pharmaceutical Review for one explained how blockchain technology could potentially support even a heavily regulated pharmaceutical supply chain.

“We believe blockchain will open up new opportunities for the industry to begin sharing data more securely,” says Dr. Steve Arlington, President of The Pistoia Alliance, a group who conducted a survey which found out that pharma is increasing interest in blockchain compared to previous year.

One big booster to blockchain being fully implemented in the supply chain was the regulation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in 2013. It prescribes a set of compliance requirements for pharmaceutical supply chain participants over a 10-year period (2013-2023).

This is why Bob Celeste, founder of Centre for Supply Chain Studies and his colleagues felt the need to dig deep and look for the potentials of blockchain technology that may help the supply chain. Celeste said, “Hopefully the investment isn’t just about the regulations. It should be about improving patient safety, more efficient supply-chain processes and new business opportunities. I think this is where the industry sees a huge potential in (the) blockchain.”

Today, Celeste’s team is on their second study which pursues to be able to show the different blockchain solutions for pharma supply chain using the scenarios, processes, and information they have gathered in their first study.
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