U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Set to Use Blockchain Technology to Track Pharmaceuticals Industry Supply Chain

According to a recent announcement, a suggestion for the use of blockchain for an open pilot scheme for the pharmaceuticals industry has been made by Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has also hired Fran Yiannas, an expert on the use of traceability technologies in global food supply chains.

FDA Pilot Project Program to Track Drugs Authenticity

According to the announcement, the suggested pilot scheme will the target at improving supply chains of pharmaceuticals. In order to achieve this, different technologies will be considered and the best one will be integrated by the agency for its tracking systems. Once implemented, counterfeit drugs will have a hard time infiltrating the supply chain. As a result of this, the Pilot Project Program, under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA Pilot Project Program), will commence the acceptance of proposals from emerging innovative technologies. The DSCSA will accept applications till March 11th of 2019.

This is not the first time the agency will be making moves directed at providing a comprehensive and effective tracking system for the pharmaceuticals industry. The FDA plans to have everything ready by 2023. Therefore putting an end to counterfeited drugs

While not confirmed, analogues of such supply chain platforms leverage blockchain technology to improve conventional systems.

In an accompanying press release, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has also issued some statements regarding the recent move by the agency. He said:

“As part of our ongoing efforts to protect our nation’s drug supply, today we’re giving industry an opportunity to test new technologies that can help spur greater accountability for participants in the supply chain and improve our ability to trace prescription drugs at every point in the distribution chain.”

Scott further stated that:

“We’re invested in exploring new ways to improve traceability, in some cases using the same technologies that can enhance drug supply chain security, like the use of blockchain.”

The press release also added that:

“Enhanced verification and tracing in the supply chain can translate to a more rapid response by industry and the FDA when an illegitimate product is found,”

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