The Benefits of Blockchain in Pharma Manufacturing

    In the past two decades, the worldwide value of pharmaceutical goods traded has grown sixfold, from $113 billion in 2000 to $629 billion in 2019.

    Amid this growth, supply chains have become increasingly complex and opaque. Many different organizations are involved when making medicine and ultimately getting it to patients. Manufacturers, packagers, distributors, vendor credentialing, logistics providers, shipping companies, clinical sites for clinical studies, wholesalers, and pharmacies are all involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain. More and more companies are outsourcing production to contract manufacturers, adding new modalities, and exploring novel ways to reach new patients. For some products, this results in supply chains that are so complex that they start in South America and circumnavigate the globe twice.

    As the industry’s supply chain complexity continues to grow, so does its need for improved traceability and end-to-end visibility. Any potential gaps in the supply chain become important, especially when it comes to pharmaceuticals, making end-to-end data visibility extremely helpful.

    Some of the challenges with data include having a linear flow of material and data across manufacturing and their supply chains. For end-to-end traceability, a request would be made by a partner through the supply chain. Each partner then provides the electronic information back to the requesting entity, which is slow, inefficient, and oftentimes is outdated by the time the information is received by the requesting entity. The systems used by different organizations may be isolated and unable to communicate across organizations due to issues with trust and concerns with security in sharing data and access to systems with other organizations. 

    Blockchain can help ensure that there is reliable, accurate data and a single reliable version of the truth that is shared by every participant in the supply chain. It can increase end-to-end visibility on the supply chain with data and can bridge barriers between stakeholders by giving all parties the same, real-time, accurate view of the supply chain. This is an important factor for ensuring supply chain robustness.

    The BlockSpaces platform provides a solution to seamlessly interact with other organizations in the supply chain. Within any ecosystem or business process, there are layers of technology that require integration. Our workflow automation platform utilizes a library of pre-built integrations to connect everyday business applications with multiple networks to provide data visibility and efficiencies beyond individual, disparate systems and information silos. We deliver a code-free interface without requiring significant technical expertise making connecting to a blockchain-friendly environment seamless.

    The pharmaceutical industry is seeing an increasing emphasis being placed on supply chain transparency and communication between vendors, with traceability stretching to the furthest reaches of a product’s supply chain. Our health and economic welfare is incredibly interconnected with those across the globe due to pharmaceutical supply chains. It is becoming inherently clear that the benefits of blockchain technology in pharmaceutical manufacturing are poised to be second to none.

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