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Blockchain in Pharma: Merck to Test Blockchain For Fighting Counterfeit Drugs

 

American pharmaceutical company Merck is seeking a patent for a blockchain based system that stores the location coordinates of an object and tracks the product as it moves through the supply chain.

The company submitted a patent application in December 2016 which outlines a method by which blockchain technology will be able to store information about a physical object, such as a product, and as it moves through the blockchain, the company will be able to receive updates about it. As a result, the authenticity of the product can be easily and quickly verified.

In its patent filing, Merck says the technology “enables a reliable, secure storage of the reading results with very high data integrity, such that it is essentially impossible to manipulate or erase or otherwise taper [sic] with or lose such data, e.g. due to unintended or deliberate deletion or due to data corruption.”

The pharmaceuticals giant further explains:

“Furthermore, the stored information can be accessed wherever access to the blockchain is available. This allows for a safe and distributed storage and access to the stored reading results, e.g. for integrity verification purposes such as checking whether a supplier of a product being marked with a composite security marking, as described herein, was in fact the originator of the product, or not.”

At this point, the product is still being developed and the initiative may take time until it is finalized. Merck’s participation in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is further evidence of the company’s interest in the new technology.

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