Blockchain can be beneficial in many ways for pharma industry, a few are:-
Enhances Regulatory Compliance– Pharmaceutical products storage and transit demand strong regulatory compliance and any lapse may lead to legal implications, heavy fines and other monetary losses over and above the loss of face for the company. Blockchain can provide details like condition of drugs in transit, storage and etc. By using smart contracts it can then assign whether the same stock should be allowed to be delivered at last mile or redirected for checking vis a vis it can also penalise the person/company at fault. This assuring enhanced regulatory compliance.
Enhances Traceability—India is geographically very vast and hence we find lots of intermediary channels. All these channels operate in silos and rarely have any operational tool omnipresent. Thus it`s very hard to track and identify the loosen end, this only increases manual labour and wastage of time due to multiple check and rechecks. Closed ledger system in Blockchain comes handy in such cases. This will promise regulated and relevant exchanges and if required a backward audit too.
Combat Counterfeit/Spurious drugs— we have seen lawmakers discussing the need of stringent laws against counterfeit drugs, thus sooner or later the onus to fight counterfeit drugs will rest majorly on pharma companies and its allies. Blockchain here empowers the exact traceability across distribution channel up-to the point of sale. This will make introducing counterfeit drugs at any level impossible. The buyers can simply check the medicine via a QR code or Barcode and track the medicine from production to point of sale. Even the buyers can check the date of expiry, transit conditions and storage conditions were maintained correctly or not.
Improvise Inventory Management– Blockchain can help various stake holders in the distribution channel to plan the inventory. It can help resolve the issues of stock piling, stock shortages and proper utilisation of medicines before the expiry.
The decision will always be in the hands of logistics providers, cold storage facility owners and other allied sectors in pharma industry, to be Blockchain ready or not. But the first mover will get the competitive edge, let`s not forget India is now seeing a e-coomerce revolution even in pharma industry.