Indian Government Plans to use Blockchain to Fight Against Fake Medicines

indian govt wants to use blockchain to counter fight fake drugs

Apparently Indian Govt. has banned entities from dealing with cryptocurrency. Also cryptocurrency is no longer a valid legal tender in India, but it looks like Indian govt. is interested to leverage blockchain technology to encounter sales of fake medicines or drugs. Blockchain in becoming a priority for Government or citizens whenever require to establish a trusted, shared, and unique record without any kind of intermediaries.

Sources state that Indian govt wants to complete a “proof of concept” (PoC) by this year end and that will be rolled out by the beginning of 2019.

Since long, fake drugs are a concern, and from decades India has been facing several difficulties to weed out the menace of fake drugs. This move will help the government and pharmaceutical companies to Combat against the business of Fake Medicines. According to World Health Organization report, India produces 35% of unauthorized replicas of meds that are sold in global market. As per Assocham, one in every five medicines produced in the country is fake. Most of those are illegal replica of original brand or just a normal medicine without any kind of clinical efficiency. Also the report states that around 60-70% dietary supplements that are sold in India are fake. CDSCO report states that around 0.03 to 0.05% drugs in the market are fake. Moreover 10.5% drugs sold in countries like India are just below the require standard.

Surprisingly this illegal industry has an estimated valuation of Rs. 15,000 crore and it’s out breaking day by day with an annual growth of 20-25% each year.

NITI Aayog officlas sated,”We are all taking those [fake] medicines and I am sure people are dying.

As per NITI Aayog there’s just one way to stop it, and that’s to put the entire supply on the blokchain. In this system, each medicines will be given an unique ID number that can be used to track the supply on blockchain. Also any individual or business organization can access the history and source of the medicine, place of manufacturing of the drug by just scanning the Unique ID or Barcode. Also Once the medicines is sold to the customer the code can be irrevocably audited on the blockchain, that will make the records no longer available.

Also there are some problems lies on the line, including the short term cost of the exercise and a question – who will bear it ?

This two-dimensional barcode implication needs a substantial amount of investment. secretary general of industry lobby Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance. G Shah said,“Even simple two-dimensional barcoding, which is not common in India for drugs, comes at a significant cost. If the government is willing to consider it that it is an additional cost and compensate it, the industry will have no objection.”

Currently Indian Govt has plans to explore the back bone of cryptocurrency ie. blockchain technology in different fields like health, agriculture and education. Nitin Aayog officials said,”We have identified a company that will do the technology for us“. As of now govt. is looking to run blockchain-based pilots on electronic health records. The final vision is to start implying digital certification process on blockchain starting from 2019.