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W-15: Cross-Industry Collaboration Evaluating how Blockchain can Transform the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry

Poster Presenter

      Adama Ibrahim

      • Vice President, Digital Strategy and Change Management
      • Novo Nordisk
        United Kingdom


Describe a cross-industry white paper that provides the following: -Includes an overview of BlockChain -Analyses the current process and areas where BlockChain would have most impact (i.e. efficiency, change management) -Proposes Use Cases where Blockchain would transform the current landscape


Over a period of 6 months of literature research by multiple stakeholders ranging from Biometrics, Operations, IT, Clinical Supply, Medical Affairs, Process Improvement, as well as vendors, consultants, Regulators and Academic Experts.


Blockchain is relevant for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. The purpose of this paper is to make this case and explain why and how it is so. Moreover, that this is the time for action. A confluence of factors leads us to believe Blockchain is relevant and the time is now. These include: • Federal and state regulations for industry interoperability and accountability • Worldwide demand for patient oriented healthcare • Cross jurisdiction and cross condition nature of industry • Unsustainable industry wastage, fraud and mounting costs • Inefficiencies of traditional R&D process • Blockchain’s inherent capabilities to improve trust, transparency, auditability and security of transactions • Massive amounts of investments and rapid improvements in Blockchain technology In spite of all this, Blockchain is not magic. It is technology infrastructure, software and a cultural movement towards more accountable transactions and decentralized processing. Subtly, it is also a movement towards greater, secure and near real-time machine to machine transactions—this perhaps representing the greatest transformational benefit. This white paper will explore what is Blockchain, what are the use cases it could serve in the healthcare and pharmaceutical space and how to get started.


By the end of 2017, multiple proof of concepts in supply chain, smart contracts and distributed ledgers have emerged (by Pfizer, Genentech, Pfizer and FDA with IBM Watson) which are planned to read out in 2018. It is an exciting time for this technology to demonstrate how it can benefit and potentially transform the pharma industry. The argument that blockchain is another database can be dispelled given the benefits are all about value and providing transparency, building trust and reputation. However, these benefits enhance access to data and can increase the volume, veracity and velocity at which patient data is available for research. Technologies to analyze and visually report on these types of data assets also need to mature to maximize the benefits. The two use cases explored in detail first of all relate to smart contracts for supply chain, vendor or site contracts and payments for measurable win-win efficiencies in cost, quality and time. The second use case relates to patient data in which eConsent and third party data (eCOA, Labs, etc), plays a role to offer accessibility and transparency to the clinical trials patient. In turn the value propositions for sponsor include compliance with GDPR guidelines, building on trust and reputation and access to meaningful data exchange directly with patients (from wearable devices). These areas are what can be game changers and recommendations for proof of concepts as next steps.