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NITI Aayog and Oracle To Jointly Fight Fake Drugs in India With Blockchain

Blockchain continues to be a popular technology in India for some time now and its latest application is in the sector of healthcare. On Friday, NITI Aayog announced a collaboration with Oracle, Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma Sciences to launch a pilot drug supply chain based on blockchain decentralized ledger and IoT software.

This project is being undertaken with the aim of reducing fake drugs in India. India’s pharmaceutical industry is huge and happens to be one of biggest in the world. Which is why monitoring and preventing fake drugs permeating into the system is extremely important.

World Health Organisation (WHO) had conducted a research survey on this problem and their findings indicate that atleast 1 in 10 medical products in low-and-middle income countries either does not meet the necessary standards or is falsified.

WHO said on their website,

“Falsified medical products are manufactured in many different countries and in all regions. Many countries and the media frequently report successful operations against manufacturers of substandard and falsified medical products. Some reports refer to large-scale manufacturing and others to small back street operations. With the availability of tableting machines, ovens, specialist equipment, ingredients and packaging materials, clandestine manufacturing facilities are quick and easy to assemble,”

A lot of the drugs sold in India are locally manufactured and exported but there is no real-time monitoring mechanism to keep a check on the quality of these drugs. How is the common man to then verify the authenticity of the drug they are buying?

With the use of Blockchain, a system can be devised that will help trace the journey of the drugs right from their origin up to the final buying of the drugs by a consumer. If this entire data is stored on a blockchain, then there is transparency and people can see it.

Niraj Prakash, the Sales Consulting Leader of Digital India and Digital Enterprise at Oracle said,

“This is not a new problem. There have been tracking systems in the past but haven’t been able to really solve the problem. Blockchain, however, can be an excellent mechanism to form the backbone of an IT application or IT system that can be formed to counter the problem of fake medicines in India,” said