25 leading market participants in the United States pharma industry addressed the FDA to use blockchain technology for tracking prescription drugs. This address was made after the successful completion of a DLT pilot project with the Food and Drug Administration.
At the beginning of the last year, the FDA started accepting proposals for projects aimed at helping the office to meet the 2023 requirements of the Drug Supply Chain and Security Act. The act requires the pharmaceutical industry to track ‘legal changes in the supply chain's ownership of pharmaceuticals.’
The report published by leading pharma companies, logistics partners and other active market participants highlights the importance of including blockchain technology in the process of drug traceability.
FDA approved the Mediledger Blockchain pilot in earlier in 2019. It was also approved by leading players of the pharma ecosystem. The companies including Walgreens, which is the second-largest pharmacy chain in the United States, Genentech, FedEx, GSK, Walmart, and many others.
These companies published their report in February, and it mostly focused on the importance of blockchain technology for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. They have noted that it is crucial to have a central point of data sharing in order to keep up the developments in other nations. By not having accurate data that is shared among different partners, systems and technical formats, it seems to fall behind the ever-changing and developing world.
They went as far as saying that this technology is so vital for the sector that in case of not integrating it, in case of a serious public health crisis, it might lead to serious problems. For example, it will be almost impossible for agents to locate and quarantine suspect products quickly. It could lead to severe problems, including putting patients’ lives at risk.
For the sake of keeping all the pharmaceutical industry data private and safe, the report suggests the usage of zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology. To say it the easiest way, ZKP can be described as a protocol by which a digital authentication process can be facilitated without the use of any passwords or other sensitive information.
Other than the safety that blockchain technology can bring, it can also increase trust and transparency. Blockchain will come forward with a solution to serve as an audit trail for pharmaceutical companies and auditors. The data is uploaded on the Blockchain in real-time, thereby increasing the transparency. It is not possible to manipulate the data which establishes trust in the companies. The Blockchain solution works with a consensus process that does not require external auditors to verify the transaction, so there is no need for third parties to inspect the results.
The blockchain is modern technology, that is developing every day. It can be described as data, which holds records of transactions and also ensures security, transparency, and decentralization. To say it simpler, one can think of the blockchain as records stored in the forms of blocks. This information and records are not controlled by a single authority, which gives the technology a higher level of trustworthiness.