BENGALURU: NITI Aayog, India’s think tank, has partnered with Oracle, Apollo HospitalsNSE -2.37 % and drug maker Strides Pharma Sciences to work on a real drug supply chain using blockchain technology in a move to curb fake medicines.
In a joint press release, NITI Aayog and the companies said they would pilot a real drug supply chain using blockchain decentralized ledger and internet of things (IoT).
According to the release, Oracle’s blockchain software permanently registers a drug’s record in the manufacturer’s drug supply chain (serial number, labeling, scanning), leaving no scope for record tampering. From here on, at every point of hand change, it records the drug’s movement – from manufacturer to logistics, from stockist to hospital, or from pharmacy to consumer. In case of a fake drug, the software will detect irregularity and notify the concerned nodal point. Besides, Oracle IoT will provide options to track critical information such as chemical ingredients of the drug or maintenance of temperature control in case of life-saving drugs or vaccines.
The Indian government’s think tank elaborated on the state of counterfeit drugs in India citing a recent report by the World Health Organization that “estimates 20% of all drugs sold in India are fake”. The report also mentioned that India, the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, is reported to be the source of 35% of all counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is considered the third largest in the world in volume, accounting for 10% of the world’s production.
The real drug supply chain looks to benefit from blockchain through secure information sharing across the supply chain and recording of every exchange of information.
“This agreement with Oracle and our partnership with Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma, will help ensure all Indian drug manufacturers and healthcare experts have access to a standards-based, modern technology platform – blockchain and IoT, to help eliminate fake drug distribution,” Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, was quoted in the release.