A study commissioned by the Techniker Krankenkasse in Germany recently released results showing that the EU could save over half a billion Euros yearly by providing cancer patients with generic drugs. Cancer patients receive, in addition to chemotherapy, complex drugs that are often very expensive. The active ingredients in these drugs, however, continue to lose patent protection allowing companies to imitate them creating drugs that are just as effective and up to 30 percent cheaper /1/.
Doctors fear unforeseen side effects of generics
Generic drugs are widely accepted and prescribed by doctors for birth control and medications treating headache, infections, or blood pressure. The study has however been received with criticism from doctors fearing new side effects from the generic medications, although they are subject to the same regulations as the originals /1/.
Supply chain verification boosts confidence
One thing that could be implemented to increase physician confidence in generic cancer drugs is technology enabling verification of the drugs’ authenticity. Throughout the manufacturing process drugs are transferred between manufacturers, distributors, repackagers, and wholesalers. This leaves more room for the possibility of counterfeits and mistakes, especially when there are multiple drugs of the same kind circulating through the system on the way to patients.
Supply chain security is a pressing issue across many industries and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception. Blockchain is an excellent solution to this problem and could help boost physician’s confidence by providing verification and traceability of drugs.
Blockchain solution for the pharma industry
Using Blockchain, a drug’s packaging could be scanned along the process, its whereabouts being logged into a database as chronological transactions. Both manufacturers and the end consumers could scan this bar code and view the drug’s history, which is also guaranteed to remain un-manipulated due to Blockchain’s elaborate encryption and decentralized nature.
To read more about how Blockchain can be implemented in the pharmaceutical industry, click here, or contact us directly.