NITI Aayog, Oracle to fight fake drugs through blockchain

NITI Aayog signed an agreement with cloud services provider Oracle, hospital chain Apollo Hospitals, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Strides Pharma Sciences to curb the distribution of fake drugs using new technologies.

The partners will pilot a real drug supply chain using blockchain decentralized ledger and IoT software. By piloting a real drug supply chain using blockchain and IoT software, they can support governments and healthcare experts to quickly detect fake drugs. These will aid authorities to enforce penalties on wrong-doers with easy, proof-based data.

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.

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 poi

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world in volume, accounting for 10% of the world’s production.

However, a recent report by the World Health Organisation estimates 20% of all drugs sold in India are fake. Also, as the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, India is reported to be the source of 35% of all counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.

Blockchains are a new data structure that is secure, cryptography-based, and distributed across a network. The technology supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and the transfer of any data or digital asset. Spearheaded by Bitcoin, blockchains achieve consensus among distributed nodes, allowing the transfer of digital goods without the need for centralized authorization of transactions. The present blockchain ecosystem is like the early Internet, a permissionless innovation environment in which email, the World Wide Web, Napster, Skype, and Uber were built.

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