A WHO (World Health Organisation) report states that 35 % of duplicate drugs sold all over the world comes from India. This means that one out of ten medical products circulating in India are fake or of substandard quality. Approximately 20 % of the drugs sold across the nation are counterfeit or fake. The report further states that the fake drug market in India stands at Rs 4000 crore. The aftermaths of fake medicines are quite worrisome not just for India but for other countries as well. Duplicate medicines can promote antimicrobial resistance due to which the infection can be carried and passed on to people travelling to different countries. The mutated bacteria or virus is impossible to be treated with the same medicines as they become resistant to it.
Witnessing the looming danger, NITI Ayog which is government’s policy think tank has collaborated with Oracle and Apollo hospitals. Oracle will implement its block chain technology and a ledger system in the supply chain of pharmaceutical company. This will lead to creation of records cannot be altered with every transaction.
With the implementation of blockchain technology all kinds of medical and pharmaceutical products will be eliminated form the hospital chain’s inventory. The technology will help in reducing the distribution and sale of fake medicines. The system will also help in real-time monitoring of the production and export. The blocks of blockchain technology are continuous growing list of records that are linked using cryptography. In the pharmaceutical sector, blockchain will help in stopping the entry of fake drugs.
The collaboration of NITI Ayog and Oracle will help hospital chains across India to bring the entire inventory under the blockchain which will effectively check the intrusion of fake drugs. Moreover, government will also be able to keep a tap on the production and supply of the drugs. Besides big companies like Oracle many startups such as LinkLab, LifeCrypter, Chronicled and BlockVerify are also working to find solutions for the pharmaceutical sector through the use of blockchain technology.