IBM Working On A Blockchain System To Combat Fake Medicines In Africa

IBM is one of the leading tech giants which is aggressively working towards Blockchain. The company has implemented various transformation based on Blockchain. It has a separate division which solely works towards developing Blockchain based applications. We already know that IBM has filed many patents, but in this blog, we will be exploring its new move to track counterfeit medicines. This is the biggest problem which exists in many parts of the world.  The company has recently declared its decision to create a Blockchain system that will help in tracking fake medicines in Africa.


Blockchain is the latest technology which in its decade long career has given some outstanding results. This distributed ledger technology has transparency, provenance and data security as its underpinnings. It is because of this feature of Blockchain that we have seen a surge in the development of applications of this technology.


Counterfeit Drug Problem In Africa?

The counterfeit drug is a problem which is staring us at face. Its gargantuan problem which needs immediate attention. As per the data of WHO, the global counterfeit drug market is more than $200 billion. This market has around 30% share in the African drug market.

A great portion of this drug is supplied to  Africa from China and India. Did you know India contributes to 35% of the total fake medicine supply in the global market? But, this number is expected to come down as the Indian government has taken some stringent measures to curb the supply of fake medicine manufacturing.


Why Africa?

Well, there are many regions which are facing the problem of fake drugs, but when we talk about Africa, then it has the most complex medicine supply chain than any other part of the world. When we talk about Africa, then itchanges 30 different hands before reaching the pharmacy from where it is sold. With so many intermediaries, it becomes very easy for people to change or replace the original drug with a fake one. And with the conventional system, it will be difficult to track this movement. But with the help of Blockchain, it will become easier to track every step of the supply chain.

It is not the first time that such steps have been taken to overcome the problem of counterfeit drugs, but with the help of Blockchain, this is the first time. Blockchain is being considered to be the center of attraction for most of the business domain. Enhancing the performance of any business is efficiency. Africa has the most sophisticated drug system; it will prove a perfect place to test the efficiency of the Blockchain system. On average, a medicine changes 30 hands before reaching the destined pharmacy.


What Is The IBM Move?

IBM is known to come up with creative and inventive solutions that are directed to make things better and business operations more effective. The company is now working on creating permission Blockchain that will help in combating the problem of counterfeit drugs.

Fake medicines and drugs are the common problems which seem to be gripping major parts of the world and hence, there is a need to come up with systems and processes in place that can help in overcoming these problems.

One of the primary reason for the surge of this problem is the poor supply chain management, lack of an efficient system to track the course of product and lack of transparency in the system. With the help of Blockchain IBM aims at overcoming this problem.

IBM will be launching this project in Africa, and this platform is being developed by Haifa which is the largest lab division of IBM outside the USA. As per IBM, they will use this platform to tack medications back to the manufacturer and ensure that only authentic drugs are distributed.

To make this project a success, IBM will be collaborating with many African companies so that the customer can be leveraged at the local level. This system will help all the participant by providing them with a legit and efficient supply chain which will help in tracking and verification of authentic medicine. This will be a permission Blockchain and will have a user-friendly interface, thus assisting the participant in to authenticate the transaction.


The Future

Blockchain holds a promising future in all the divisions. IBM’s move to create a platform that will help in solving the problem of fake drugs is commendable. With the help of Blockchain, we can expect many such problems to come to an end in the near future.



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