Together, NITI Aayog, Oracle, Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma aim to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency in tracing and tracking drugs manufactured in India
New Delhi: Technology major Oracle and India’s policy think tank NITI Aayog, leading hospital chain Apollo Hospital and pharma major Strides Pharma Science have joined hands to fight the menace of fake and spurious drugs by piloting a new solution.
In order to fight the growing problem of counterfeit drugs in India, NITI Aayog has teamed with the three majors outfits and to pilot a real drug supply chain using blockchain decentralized ledger and IoT software.
The agreement was signed by NITI Aayog Advisor (Industry) Ms. Anna Roy and Oracle India Regional Managing Director Shailender Kumar today here, in the presence of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and, Apollo Hospitals Joint Managing Director Sangita Reddy.
Oracle’s blockchain software permanently registers a drug’s record in the manufacturer’s drug supply chain (serial number, labelling, scanning), leaving no scope for record tampering. From here on, at every point of hand change, it records the drug’s movement – from manufacturer to logistics, from stockist to hospital, or from pharmacy to consumer.
In case of a fake drug, the software will detect irregularity and notify the concerned nodal point. Additionally, Oracle IoT provides functionality to track critical information such as chemical ingredients of the drug or maintenance of temperature control in case of life saving drugs or vaccines.
By piloting a real drug supply chain using blockchain and IoT software, they can support governments and healthcare experts to quickly detect fake drugs and aide authorities to enforce penalties on wrong-doers with easy, proof-based data.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world in volume, accounting for 10 percent of the world’s production. A recent report by World Health Organization estimates 20 percent of all drugs sold in India are spurious. Also, as the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, India is reported to be the source of 35 percent of all counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.
The major advantages of blockchain software will be its ability to allow the sharing of information across the supply chain securely recording every exchange of information, and the tamper-proof nature of records of drug movement, which would ensure there is no dispute if an offender is identified.
According to Mr Kant, who was briefing about the agreement, “The problem of fake and counterfeit drugs is a major issue, costing the Indian pharma industry billions. At the same time, it’s putting patients at higher risk. This agreement with Oracle and our partnership with Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma, will help ensure all Indian drug manufacturers and healthcare experts have access to a standards-based, modern technology platform – blockchain and IoT, to help eliminate fake drug distribution.”
Oracle India ‘s Regional Managing Director said, “With blockchain, every movement of the drug through its supply chain is recorded – that way, the drug supply chain is completely transparent, secure, decentralized and verifiable. We believe blockchain and IoT can play a significant role in ceasing fake drug distribution and we are all geared to work with NITI Aayog in this major program.”
JP Gupta for SG Bureau