How Blockchain Technology Can Save Lives
Every year, one million patients worldwide die due to toxic counterfeit pharmaceuticals sold to them on the street, online, and even in hospitals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated earlier this year that 1 in 10 medical products in low and middle-income countries is substandard or falsified. It is not only developing countries that are suffering from this epidemic though, but those of substantial means as well. No person or condition is safe but despite past efforts put forth by several powerful countries, the issue has remained. Counterfeit drugs are being sold to unsuspecting individuals every day, financing a highly illegal industry, and causing irreversible adverse effects on human health.
In its latest effort to disrupt the counterfeit pharmaceutical industry, a new approach has been brought to light. Instead of putting time and resources into catching the fake medicine being sold, the new plan is to focus on the genuine medication. The idea is to make the pharmaceutical industry more transparent, so consumers know where their drugs are coming from and can verify that they are authentic. As the industry exists, it is likely too complicated to allow for the tracing of a single pill all the way back to its origin. Pharmaceutical supply chains are incredibly long and complicated, and it does not help that the products are so small and made in such large quantities. With the help of recent advancements in blockchain technology, this goal is achievable.
Blockchain technology, initially the backbone of Bitcoin, serves to allow transactions without having to trust banks or other third-party members. Since then, it has been discovered that the system can be applied to various industries, including the pharmaceutical industry, and Evident Proof intends to do precisely that.
In simple terms, blockchain technology works to decentralise complex chain systems. So in the case of the pharmaceutical industry, Evident Proof has discovered how a public blockchain can work to remove the secrecy surrounding where medication comes from. Evident’s system encrypts data and transactions and uses it to generate chains and tokens of proof. The company can set origin information in stone and make it virtually unhackable. It is capable of transforming pharmaceutical practices by 2021, making the industry safer for all parties involves.
While blockchains are well suited to the EU’s directive, it is worth noting the importance of storing the right information in the first place. In the globally distributed supply chains of medicinal products, there could be opportunities for dishonest parties to attempt to record counterfeit drugs as legitimate ones. The beauty of the blockchain is that if there are malicious attempts to alter information or add false information, the blockchain will have a traceable record of the attempt serving as evidence for action to be taken.
Evident Proof’s introduction of blockchain technology into the pharmaceutical sector will be beneficial for not only consumers, but also manufacturers. Consumers benefit from the safety of knowing the medication they are taking is what they think it is. Pharmaceutical corporations will benefit because they will earn money from the medicine they produce, instead of losing millions of dollars to counterfeit producers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, with the glaring exception of the producers of the counterfeit goods. With Evident Proof’s advanced security capabilities and diligent record-keeping mechanisms, the pharmaceutical world is on track to become a safer and more transparent place.
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