Blockchain Based-Software To Combat Counterfeit Drugs

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The extensive distribution of counterfeit drugs is a threat to public health and the security of the global economy. Counterfeit drugs may contain wrong concoctions, dangerous active substances, or even do not contain any active substance at all (so that they do not provide a treatment effect for patients that leads to a critical health condition).

As quoted from the International Pharmaceutical Manufacture Group (IPMG), the benefits of trading counterfeit drugs are estimated to reach 10% of the total drug market, or around $ 200 million. In Indonesia, the counterfeit drug market reached 3.8% of the total counterfeit market based on data released by the Indonesia Anti-counterfeiting Society (MIAP) in 2016.

As its distribution has reached at e-commerce, making it more easily accessible to the consumers, the efforts to eradicate it are increasingly challenging. Luckily, there is the cutting edge blockchain-based technology that has been developed by the software giant SAP in collaboration with pharmaceutical giants such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Sharp & Dohme and GlaxoSmithKline and tested in the United States.

Basically, a blockchain is a digital ledger recording system which the data stored in it cannot be modified. SAP implements this blockchain-based software through a hub designed to filter counterfeit drugs out of the supply chain. This software allows wholesalers and consumers to validate the authenticity of the product through the serial number embedded in the barcode. The serial number represents the authentic drug product data stored in the blockchain system.

Previously, there were FarmaTrust and Systech who also developed blockchain and AI-based technologies that enabled the detection and validation of the authenticity of products in the supply chain.

Blockchain-based technology has the potential to not only improve quality of life but also save many lives. In the near future, the use of blockchain based technology will become the norm in various industrial fields in order to combat the circulation of counterfeit products.



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