FDA turning to blockchain to track drug supply chain

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When it comes to the application of blockchain, the digital ledger technology that empowers things like cryptocurrencies, we’ve barely scratched the surface.

As such it’s rather interesting to see the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) turn to the technology in order to better manage the drug supply chain.

The FDA made an announcement recently which would see the organisation launch a pilot initiative where companies can sign up to have their prescription medicine and pharmaceuticals digitally tracked.

It did not note which specific technology provider it would use, but the FDA did say that blockchain is the main technology behind this pilot, with it likely employing the same decentralised system that we’ve seen in other industries.

De Beers for example has been using blockchain in order track diamonds, with conflict stones being a serious problem they need to address.

The FDA therefore will be using this system in order to ensure that the drugs and medicines that get delivered to hospitals and pharmacies come from a legitimate and trusted source.

Stateside drug companies interested in signing up for the pilot have until 11th March to do so, but as Engadget explains, it will take quite a while before we see such a blockchain-designed system become a drug industry mainstay.

This system is only expected to be a market-wide solution in 2023, and that’s in the States. We might have to wait even longer before a pilot is even adopted locally.

With blockchain being touted for a number of different industry solutions on the African continent, this seems as good as any get going locally.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.