Blockchain Technology Set to Give Boost to Pharmaceutical R&D

Blockchain technology provides us with an opportunity to ensure the validity of the drug supply chain and improve new drug development.

Blockchain Technology Set to Give Boost to Pharmaceutical R&D

Blockchain Technology Set to Give Boost to Pharmaceutical R&D

Blockchain technology provides us with an opportunity to ensure the validity of the drug supply chain and improve new drug development. Drug Development in the pharmaceutical sector involves a variety of protocols and processes. The Servblock team have been working hard behind the scenes on this ground breaking technology and have kindly offered a sneak peak in to what lies ahead.

For example, in pharmaceutical R&D:

·      The data is collected in one department and transferred to another

·      Drugs must be transferred to wholesale distributors before delivery to the patient

·      Patient data integrity must be maintained, and access to such data must be restricted.

Therefore, using the blockchain approach in the pharma industry is inevitable to monitor the production and site of drugs at any given time, improve the traceability of falsified drugs, and ensure the quality of drugs delivered to end-users. With the massive amount of money pharmaceutical giants spend on R&D and production, blockchain is likely to provide a lot of traction and opportunities in this industry.

Blockchain Helping Drug Discovery in Pharmaceutical Industry

It enables robust IP protection, transparency, and verifiability among globally distributed network teams. Let’s look at how blockchain technology could prove to be an asset to pharmaceutical R&D.

1.   Drug Traceability

The World Health Organization believes that 10% of medicine is counterfeit. Counterfeit drug production and its distribution have become a substantial global health threat that costs a lot of money, specifically in developing countries. To curb the global flow of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, governments worldwide are tightening supply chain integrity. In that case, blockchain could be a best-fit solution for analyzing, monitoring, and ensuring the production processes of new drugs during the manufacturing and research and development (R&D) stages.

By providing traceability until the time of delivery, blockchain can assist in resolving current supply chain difficulties. Hyperledger, a research foundation, recently announced a counterfeit drugs project that uses blockchain technology as the primary instrument for evaluating and combating the production of counterfeit drugs.

2.   Enhancing Clinical Trial Research

Another valuable application of blockchain technology is to preserve patient privacy and data during clinical studies. Several recent publications have discussed how blockchain can be used to support clinical trials and the supply chain that includes Pharma-Physician-Patient-Data.

Blockchain technology and its four key elements of Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc (ITCI) could undoubtedly smooth and facilitate the unquestionably complex transactional area in clinical trial research. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) might significantly impact from recruitment of patients, trial of drug (or placebo) supply, protocol, results confidentiality allow individual physicians to run several studies for different pharmaceutical companies.

For example, Pharma companies, including Pfizer, Amgen, and Sanofi, are trying to use blockchain technology to enhance evolving and testing new drugs. The companies believe that working together with blockchain technology can help them improve efficiency, speed up the R&D process, and lower drug development costs. Furthermore, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) has teamed with IBM to use IBM's blockchain platform to promote trust, patient safety, transparency, and patient empowerment in clinical trials.

3.   Management of Genomic Data

While the explosion of genomic 'big data is beneficial to researchers, especially those in Pharmaceuticle R&D, there is a possibilty that individuals' genomic data - the most basic data about 'you' – can be hacked, stolen, or otherwise abused if adequate security and privacy safeguards are not implemented. This use-case of genomic data protection and privacy is where blockchain technology might be highly advantageous; indeed, this was the first presentation on blockchain at BioIT World Expo in 2016.

The blockchain has a successful high implementation, with 83% expecting it to be implemented in less than five years. Therefore the most critical challenge or perceived limitation that blockchain has must be overcome before being broadly used in healthcare.


Yue, X., Wang, H., Jin, D., Li, M., & Jiang, W. (2016). Healthcare Data Gateways: Found Healthcare Intelligence on Blockchain with Novel Privacy Risk Control. Journal of Medical Systems, 40(10).

Mettler, M. (2016). Blockchain technology in healthcare: The revolution starts here. 2016 IEEE 18th International Conference on E-Health Networking, Applications and Services, Healthcom 2016. - Applying blockchain technology to medicine traceability. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from

Kuo, T. T., Kim, H. E., & Ohno-Machado, L. (2017). Blockchain distributed ledger technologies for biomedical and health care applications. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA, 24(6), 1211.