One of the main issues in our current technology age is cyber logistics in the supply chain. This is true for all companies including companies in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Although historically revenues of pharma companies have been high there has been a recent decline. This recent decline has supply chain asking the question of how improvement can be made through implementing new and innovate supply chain styles.
The main idea that is showing up more and more for pharmaceutical companies is implementing a supply chain style known as blockchain. Blockchain is defined as keeping a continuous list of records, known as blocks, and then linking them together, chains.
The first way that blockchain can improve the supply chain of companies is through the continuous aspect of block chain. Pharma companies have a huge supply chain that is vast and complex. Blockchain can alleviate this by a great amount because it can help organize a pharmaceutical company’s supply chain records as well as monitor them continuously.
Another way that blockchain can help is by reducing the number of counterfeit drugs that enter the mainstream market. This is because blockchain links the records actively, so when something is out of place the company can trace it back and solve the problem quickly and efficiently. In this case the problem being counterfeit drugs which can be dangerous to the consumer as they are unregulated. Blockchain does this by improving how drugs are scanned and verified at all levels of the supply chain.
This is not to say that blockchain has some down falls. Like many supply chain innovations although blockchain provides numerous benefits, it is often complicated and costly to implement. For pharmaceutical companies, the first order of business when implementing supply chain would be to go to the warehouse/manufacturing level and begin to change how the drugs are cataloged by building a large scanning system and identification numbers that track back to a centered server. Which leads into the next cost, which is establishing a server. Servers are costly to develop for many reasons including cataloging and having back-up in case of a problem arising. Also, the maintenance costs of keeping servers running adds up quickly. The final and hardest cost to set up blockchain is the re-education or re-training of employee to ensure that the blockchain system is running correctly and efficiently. This includes developing a monitoring system to ensure data is scanned in correctly by workers. All of these measures include costs that are not monetary including the cost of time it takes to establish blockchain.
With this being said however, in the case of pharmaceutical companies, blockchain’s overall benefits from implementation outweigh those costs to establish.