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GSK is Fighting Fake Drugs with ConsenSys Startup ‘Viant’ for Blockchain in Pharmaceuticals

One of the world’s biggest pharma companies, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is working with Viant, an Ethereum-based platform startup backed by ConsenSys to develop blockchain in pharmaceuticals.

With the release of new regulations to protect U.S. consumers from fake, contaminated and stolen medications, the pilot could not have come at a better time, as the industry speeds up tests of blockchain in pharmaceuticals.

Tyler Mulvihill, founder of Viant and a Director at ConsenSys stated:

“the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act has mandated unit-level track and traceability for pharmaceuticals by 2023.  Blockchain is an amazing way to accomplish this in a provably immutable way.”

According to a study by ‘big four’ PwC, counterfeit medication can be both ineffective or dangerous for patients, and represent up to $200 billion in lost sales each year.

blockchain in pharmaceuticals fighting counterfeit drugs

Counterfeit medicines are also a major problem in the developing world:

The World Health Organisation estimates that 1 in 10 medications are counterfeit.

The Viant platform leverages cryptographic security, and smart contracts to track intellectual property (IP) licenses and ensure products are produced, correctly labelled, transported, and stored in proper conditions throughout their entire supply chain.

GSK and Viant aim to develop the blockchain platform not only for licensing its technologies to researchers around the world, but also to ensure that they are using that IP properly.

microsoft azure blockchain

Microsoft Azure are also collaborating on the project, that aims to accelerate the growth of Viant’s blockchain supply chain platform in the pharmaceutical sector.

“Viant’s approach to tracking digitized goods across partners with blockchain technology will help create accountability in supply chains.” – Microsoft

The Drug Supply Chain Security Act, enacted in 2013 by the Food and Drug Administration, calls for an electronic system to track and trace certain prescription drugs in the U.S.  The regulations will go into effect starting in 2019.

There are a number of initiatives trialling blockchain technology for the supply chain, Hyperledger are running several use cases, PwC have partnered with Vechain and as reported by BCTech Report, Thomas Kurian, President of Software Development at Oracle said:

“Oracle’s products will also be pitched to pharmaceutical companies to track and trace batches of medicine, which may potentially ease recalls.”

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