A blockchain is a time-stamped series of immutable record of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity (this means it is ‘decentralized’). Each of these blocks of data (a ‘block’) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (the ‘chain’). This makes the blockchain an incorruptible digital ledger of transactions that can be programmed to record anything of value, such as time, temperature, vibration, costs and so on.
Blockchain in the full-blown sense has yet to be accepted by pharmaceutical regulators; however, the U.S. FDA agreed in 20198 to a pilot study. This blog posts looks at what blockchain is and how it might work in the context of pharmaceuticals and healthcare. This post also looks at areas where blockchain can be directed and what advantages it can deliver to pharma. Of these different applications, avoiding the falsification of medicines is probably the most important.
Tim Sandle has written a new article for the IVT Network.
While blockchain as yet to take-off fully in the pharma world, across other industries (such as food and shipping) it is regarded as one of the most disruptive technologies within the digital transformation paradigm, introducing greater security and transparency to economic transactions. As soon as it become accepted by pharmaceutical regulators, it will change the industry permanently - passing information from A to B in a fully automated and safe manner.
Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology