Author: Jagdish Kumar, India
In order to curb fake drugs in the country, India will be using Blockchain technology to combat fake and spurious drugs.
India government’s National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Ayog), a policy think tank established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals is looking to check the entire stock from the time of manufacturing till it goes to the patients.
To take this forward, NITI Ayog has roped in US-based tech giant Oracle to implement a pilot project that will help in check fake and spurious drugs.
Under this, the patient will be able to trace the movement of the drug he is consuming. One can scan the barcode on the medicine pack to see how many hands the drug has passed through before reaching his doorstep, an advisor at NITI Aayog said recently.
Speaking further, the advisor said that in the pilot project the company will track pharmaceutical firms, stockists, pharmacists, and consumers.
Every medicine will be allotted unique identification codes or numbers, which can then be tracked through the entire supply chain using blockchain. At each step of the distribution process, technology will affirm the provenance and authenticity of the batch of the drug, the advisor stressed.
Fake drugs are not a problem in India, globally over 700,000 people die every year due to the consumption of fake or spurious drugs.
In India, the market for fake drugs are huge, which is estimated to be around $5.09 billion (INR 350 billion) of the overall pharmaceutical market of $26.21 billion (INR 1.80 trillion).
Pharma market in India is the world’s third largest and according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, 35% of all the counterfeit drugs sold worldwide originate from India.
After implementing, the Blockchain technology will help check in at all levels and this technology will bust the racket of fake drugs entering the supply chain, analyst at an multinational professional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India said.
Bejon Misra, founder of the not-for-profit Patient Safety and Access Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India Foundation said that though the idea is good. It will be a challenge for the government to connect over 100,000 drug manufacturers, their warehouses, and chemists across the country.
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