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Telangana Government To Combat Counterfeit Drugs Through Blockchain Technology

Telangana Government To Combat Counterfeit Drugs Through Blockchain Technology


HYDERABAD, 13 JULY 2019:

 

In a bid to arrest the increasing number of counterfeit drugs in the country, the Information Technology and  Electronics and Communications (ITEC) department of Telangana is planning to use blockchain, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) to address the issue.

 

In the project being taken up by the ITEC department along with RealMed Solutions, a designated barcode, QR Code or a 2D data matrix will be provided for medicine once a manufacturer issues the product, ITEC official told Express. The project will be first introduced on a pilot-basis to check fake anti-cancer drugs.

 

This barcode will have to be verified at each supply level -- from the manufacturer to the patient -- thus proving the veracity of the medicine, enabling traceability and creating a permanent record of every change of hand. Speaking to Express, K Pavaney, Chief Marketing Officer of RealMed Solutions said, “Blockchain would ensure that the system is immutable and transparent.”

 

Pavaney also said that they would use a thermostat IoT device to check the temperature of the medicine to keep it at an optimum level. The ITEC department also roped in the Drug Control Administration of Telangana, who recommended that the project should be started on anti-cancer drugs.

 

The ITEC official said that the anti-cancer drugs were recommended because they are expensive and were found to be counterfeited a lot. In fact, a recent global alert by the World Health Organisation highlighted that fake medicines made out of paracetamol were being packaged as cancer drug Iclusig. A department official said that when it becomes functional it would decrease the delay in time, increase in costs and also human error and also helps in tracing fake drugs.“A WHO report says that 1 in 5 drugs are fake. The major problem is finding them in the supply chain. Blockchain would help in doing just that,” the official added