Around the Block(chain) – applications in pharma


Hataali, London, United Kingdom


The pharmaceutical supply chain has been ripe for innovation for quite some time, and the pandemic has further highlighted the need to look at ways to make processes more efficient while increasing transparency and increasing data security. Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can efficiently record transactions between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way. Since blockchains are decentralized, distributed, transparent, and immutable, they not only easily solve the issue of counterfeit medicines but can address issues around advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMP) tracking.

The wonderful thing about blockchain is that it’s such a resilient and futureproof technology and we are really only now beginning to imagine its potential in biopharmaceuticals. So, at present in healthcare, while its use is primarily around supply chain transparency, security and real time monitoring, its immutability is an obvious application. There are potentially a huge number of other applications if you take a step back and look at the use of blockchain outside of healthcare. For example, its use in financial tech software and famously in cryptocurrencies could point to some low hanging fruit in health settings. The ability to handle large volumes of payments as seen in crypto and applying the use of smart contracts could bring tremendous benefits in the complex payment systems often prevalent in healthcare.


So, I will breakdown the three core areas, before diving deeper, that blockchain should become the de rigueur standard in, namely: supply chain monitoring, digital regulation and smart contracts for multistakeholder therapy reimbursement schemes.


One application we are particularly excited about is helping simplify the r ...