Software Company SAP has introduced a new blockchain service that may help drug wholesalers to authenticate drugs in the supply chain. The SAP Blockchain-based application for the pharmaceutical industry is aimed at ensuring that any drugs returned from healthcare centers and pharmacies to a wholesaler are verified before they are resold it. The solution was built in the SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences, a public Cloud network comprising several large pharmaceutical wholesalers and manufacturers.
Introduced in November 2017, the Blockchain hub assists pharmaceutical wholesalers to meet the criteria with the new U.S. Drug Supply Security Act (DSCSA), which will effect in November this year and requests wholesalers to authorize prescription drugs that are returned before they are resold. According to Jeff Denton, Senior Director of Global secure supply chain for AmerisourceBergen, a major drug wholesaler, they have nearly 58 units of pharmaceutical product in the U.S. that is distributed to pharmacies and is then returned to the wholesaler for different reasons and put back on the shelf to resold. He further said that with this new act, there are some additional checks need to do around validating unique markings and serial numbers on each of those bottles. According to Denton, the return rate for sellable drug products is around 2 percent per annum that accounts for nearly USD10 to USD12 billion.
Chief Product Owner at the SAP for Life Sciences solution portfolio, Oliver Nuernberg pointed out that the SAP Blockchain hub assists in ensuring drug packages are verified by making a trusted, shared ledger which cannot be tampered with, in which the ledger contains drug manufacturing data, as information that wholesalers haven’t had access earlier.