NITI Aayog Partners With Oracle, Apollo & Strides To Battle Against Fake Drug Distribution
In order to fight the growing problem of counterfeit drugs in India, NITI Aayog, Government of India’s premier policy institute, has teamed with global cloud leader Oracle, India’s premier super speciality hospital Apollo Hospitals, and global pharmaceutical manufacturer Strides Pharma Sciences, to pilot a real drug supply chain using blockchain decentralized ledger and IoT software.
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.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world in volume, accounting for 10 per cent of the world’s production. A recent report by the World Health Organization estimates 20 per cent of all drugs sold in India are fake. Also, as the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, India is reported to be the source of 35 per cent of all counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.
Together, NITI Aayog, Oracle, Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma aim to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency in tracing and tracking drugs manufactured in India.
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.