Roughly two dozen pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Roche, have come together to develop a blockchain-based system that secures the supply chain of prescription drugs and tracks counterfeit medicines, reports Reuters.
The project is currently testing MediLedger, a blockchain-based network that validates drugs and allows users to trace the authenticity of raw materials. The companies are planning to expand the platform this year and are targeting the entire pharmaceutical industry, valued at $1 trillion.
While counterfeit drugs are not a pressing issue in the United States, they are a big problem in developing countries. MediLedger is designed to make sure that fake drugs will never become a problem in the US.
Says Susanne Somerville, CEO of MediLedger custodian Chronicled,
“Even though the drug supply in the United States is safe, there are small percentages… of potential counterfeit drugs. Certainly, there’s a lot of evidence of diverted drugs.”
The World Health Organization estimates that the healthcare industry loses around $75 billion every year due to counterfeit drugs.
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