Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Use of Blockchain technology
Mains level: Curbing fake drug menace in India.
Curbing Fake Drug menace
- NITI Aayog has signed an agreement with cloud services provider Oracle, hospital chain Apollo Hospitals, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Strides Pharma Sciences.
- It aims to curb the distribution of fake drugs using new technologies.
India at greater risk
- The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world in volume, accounting for 10% of the world’s production.
- A recent report by World Health Organisation estimates 20% of all drugs sold in India are fake.
- Also, as the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, India is reported to be the source of 35% of all counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.
Technology approach to track fake drugs
- The partners will pilot a real drug supply chain using blockchain decentralized ledger and IoT software.
- By piloting a real drug supply chain using blockchain and IoT software, they can support governments and healthcare experts to quickly detect fake drugs.
- These will aide authorities to enforce penalties on wrong-doers with easy, proof-based data.
- Oracle’s blockchain software permanently registers a drug’s record in the manufacturer’s drug supply chain (serial number, labelling, scanning), leaving no scope for record tampering.
- The company added that at every point of hand change, it records the drug’s movement — from manufacturer to logistics, from stockist to hospital, or from pharmacy to consumer.
- In case of a fake drug, the software will detect irregularity and notify the concerned nodal point.