PharmaLedger has had a busy year. After morphing from a pharmaceutical consortium into a non-profit association, the group launched its first product, electronic Product Information (ePI). Those product pamphlets inside a box of medicine will soon be a thing of the past. Instead, patients scan the barcode on the box of drugs with their mobile phones. In addition to the ePI launch, the association has attracted 11 new members.
Around the start of the pandemic, PharmaLedger launched as a 29 member consortium to explore blockchain for healthcare innovation. Originally it was an EU-funded initiative with a dozen major pharmaceutical companies. Last year the group decided to continue the work as a Swiss-based non-profit association with paying members.
The new members still feature many from Europe, but overall there’s a more global representation including Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Asian distributor and healthcare provider Zuellig Pharma.
While the announcement mentions 11 new members, it has lost six big pharma firms along the way. Abbvie, Bayer, GSK, MSD, Novartis and Pfizer are current members and have been there from the start. Johnson & Johnson joined along the way. Discussing the launch of the electronic Product Information (ePI) product in online videos, it’s clear that wrangling large groups of participants is not easy, and compromises had to be made. Some decided to go their own way.
However, having a broad representation is a key PharmaLedger mission. So it’s not just about the pharma companies or the distributors. Patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and insurers or payers must be involved and all participated in the ePI development.
With one product now live, others are in progress including for clinical trials and supply chain.
“We encourage other clinical trial stakeholders to join us in this journey, to collectively shape a future where data integrity, transparency, and collaboration redefine the standards of trust in healthcare and help advance the efficiency of clinical studies and use of health data,” said Stephen Leiper, CEO Onorach Innovation, a PharmaLedger member. “This is the future of clinical trials.”