Health­care ex­perts to use blockchain for real drug sup­ply

BioSpectrum (India) - - POLICY AND REGULATORY NEWS -

NITI Aayog has teamed up with Or­a­cle, Apollo Hos­pi­tals and Strides Pharma to track drug sup­ply chain us­ing blockchain and IoT so­lu­tions. This will be a pi­lot project for three months. 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. Be­sides, Or­a­cle IoT will pro­vide op­tions to track crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion such as chem­i­cal in­gre­di­ents of the drug or main­te­nance of tem­per­a­ture con­trol in case of life sav­ing drugs or vac­cines. Ac­cord­ing NITI Aayog, the prob­lem of fake and coun­ter­feit drugs is a ma­jor is­sue, cost­ing the In­dian pharma in­dus­try bil­lions. At the same time, it is putting pa­tients at higher risk. This agree­ment with Or­a­cle and part­ner­ship with Apollo Hos­pi­tals and Strides Pharma, will help en­sure that In­dian drug man­u­fac­tur­ers and health­care ex­perts have ac­cess to a stan­dards-based, mod­ern tech­nol­ogy plat­form, blockchain and IoT, to help elim­i­nate fake drug dis­tri­bu­tion. The Union Health Min­istry is in the process of re­ceiv­ing sug­ges­tions for re­nam­ing the coun­try’s drug reg­u­la­tor Cen­tral Drugs Stan­dard Con­trol Or­gan­i­sa­tion (CDSCO) in line with its ex­panded roles. The name CDSCO was given keep­ing its role when it was cre­ated, but the present nomen­cla­ture does not seem to be re­flect­ing its roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. The role of CDSCO has ex­panded to sev­eral ar­eas, in­clud­ing reg­u­la­tion of new drugs, vac­cines and clin­i­cal tri­als, all im­ports per­tain­ing to drugs, med­i­cal de­vices and cos­met­ics, Cen­tral Li­cens­ing Ap­proval Au­thor­ity for blood banks and vac­cines, set­ting of stan­dards un­der the Drugs and Cos­met­ics

Act, 1940, among oth­ers.

The Drugs Tech­ni­cal Ad­vi­sory Board (DTAB) had pre­vi­ously rec­om­mended re­nam­ing CDSCO as In­dian Drugs Ad­min­is­tra­tion, or In­dian Med­i­cal Prod­ucts Ad­min­is­tra­tion. CDSCO to get a new name

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