Get a Better Night’s Sleep: What Pharma Leaders Should Know About Blockchain
Kumara Guru, Chief Growth Officer, Healthcare Triangle • Sep 03, 2021
If you are the leader of a pharmaceuticalcompany, chances are a number of threats keep you up at night. Here are a few possibilities:
What’s the secret to mitigating these risks? To paraphrase Mr. Braddock’s advice to Benjamin in the classic movie, “The Graduate,” I have one word for you: blockchain. That’s right!
Blockchain—the same technology underlying Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies—is gaining currency (pun intended) for its potentialto transform the pharma industry. From accelerating drug development and gaining a better understanding of how drugs affect specific populations, to improving the safety and security of thesupply chain, blockchain promises to bring striking changes to virtually every aspect of drug development and distribution.
In 2020 alone, headlines touted blockchain’s ability to support smarter vaccine distribution, collaborative COVID-19 research, faster drug development, and more. The FDA is even testing blockchain’s potential to track and trace medications.
Lack of access to the right skills, however, hinders 30% of organizations from leveraging blockchain for digital transformation. Other challenges include staffing blockchain with the right talent; selecting the right blockchain protocols; and integrating IT assets into one or more blockchain networks.
But overcoming these challenges doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are fourways to get the most out of your drug company’s investment in blockchain:
No. 1: Leverage a plug-and-play blockchain solution that can operate in the public cloud. You’ll reduce the costs associated with blockchain implementation and management and help your team focus on more important matters, such as organizational goals.
No. 2: Fine-tune your IT integration strategy. Pharmaceutical supply chains are complex, involving multiple stakeholders with many requirements. Integrating supply chain management platforms withblockchain results in a simple, single-use system that enhances transparency, security and oversight of the end-to-end delivery of goods.
No. 3: Develop a smart contract strategy. Among their other capabilities, smart contracts can be programmed to automatically alert relevant parties when guidelines around drug handling and storage conditions during transport or other compliance conditions are not met. Be sure to consider how existing IT systemsand business processes will need to be adjusted to accommodate smart contracts.
No. 4: Take a“DevOps” approach to blockchain management. Rather than treating blockchain as an extension of your organization’s data center, DevOps combines best practices in software development and IT operations to improve blockchain much faster than traditional software development processes typically allow.
Some 90% of life sciences experts believe blockchain has the potential to transform the pharma industry. Gartner projects that blockchain’s business value will reach $176 billion by 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030. Taking these four steps can not only help ensure your company isn’t left out of the revolution, but also make it a more formidable competitor in the market.
In my book, there’s no better prescription for a good night’s sleep.