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Blockchain and the pharmaceutical industry

corresponding

HARRY E. PENCE 
SUNY at Oneonta, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Oneonta, New York, USA

Abstract

Data management is critical for the pharmaceutical industry. 
A new technology, called blockchain, may provide improved security and transparency for a number of different pharmaceutical activities.   Blockchain offers a way to respond to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) which the U.S. Congress passed in 2013 to prevent counterfeit, stolen, or contaminated drugs. Blockchain is also being explored for use in keeping records of clinical trials and for research into new pharmaceuticals. While not all of the projects currently being developed may be successful, a blockchain-based Electronic Health Record system should  provide improved data security, information sharing, data authentication as well as being more patient centered than what currently exists.


INTRODUCTION

The pharmaceutical industry is struggling to handle large amounts of data. Pharmaceutical research generates mountains of data; required clinical testing creates even more, and new regulations are expanding the amount of information that must be provided about the supply chain.  The development of health-care applications of the Internet of Things and genomic medicine will significantly add to the amount of data that must be organized and maintained. 

A new technology, called blockchain, may provide improved security and transparency for a number of different pharmaceutical activities. Projects are currently underway to explore the application of blockchain to managing the pharmaceutical supply chain and clinical trials, as well as research leading to new drugs.

 

BLOCKCHAIN AND THE PHARMACEUTICAL SUPPLY CHAIN

Counterfeit drugs and medical devices are a serious problem for the pharmaceutical industry.  They represent not only lost revenue for the company but also are a potential ...




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