Pharmaceutical Supply Chains

Pharmaceutical Supply Chains

Prescription drugs are the biggest counterfeit market in the world (Bayer Global, 2018). It is estimated that around a million patients die every year from toxic counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and the WHO estimates that 1 in 10 medical products in low- and middle-income countries is substandard or falsified. Using blockchain, embedded identification markers can track individual products to provide full and accurate accountability at every stage in the supply chain. Any issues or disputes concerning product provenance can usually be resolved between stakeholders directly, using automated programs integrated with the blockchain (Smart Contracts), thus eliminating the need for unnecessary or unreliable middlemen. In this way, the supply chain becomes not merely less prone to corruption, but more cost-efficient, too.



The challenge

However, the problem of how to build such a solution is non-trivial. Global pharmaceutical supply chains are complex and meeting the requirements of the US Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCA) and the EU’s Falsified Medicines Directive (which require producers and distributors to “track and trace” medicines through the supply chain at the package-level) is not easy. The cross-party collaboration of stakeholders is an essential starting point, and even this may not be enough. An agreement to invest in, and use, the same technology has worked on some occasions, in some sectors, but it is no guarantee. And it’s easy to see why this should be the case: logistics providers, and other intermediaries such as wholesalers, for instance, maybe working for a range of different manufacturers. Furthermore, blockchain technology is rapidly evolving: changes are inevitable.

The solution

A solution which provides interoperability between blockchains, as well as existing systems, solves these problems at a stroke. And this is precisely what Overledger delivers. By allowing easy access to disparate blockchains and multiple ledgers, Overledger facilitates fast, easy and secure interconnection of different supply chains, with all the democratising benefits such flexibility brings.



Stable and secure



Future proof