Blockchain: Transformational change for Pharma?

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Publication Date:
August 2018
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Is blockchain really the technology that can revolutionise pharma's business?

Rapidly developing Blockchain technology can deliver transparent, secure and reliable data sharing. It also has the prospect of streamlining business processes, saving on costs and building trusted relationships with stakeholders. But what are the risks to healthcare inherent with blockchain technology and how can these be overcome? Where could blockchain really benefit pharma and what are the cultural, investment and operational challenges adopters would face?

In Blockchain: Transformational change for Pharma? we interviewed leading blockchain advocates to help you identify practical applications, evaluate where blockchain could drive transformational change and the key issues pharma must consider.

Experts scan the blockchain horizon

  • How can the data-sharing capabilities of blockchain technology lead to lower development costs and increased efficiency?
  • How can blockchain facilitate pharma's go-to-market strategy?
  • How will improved transparency via blockchain promote the shift away from a fee-for-service payment model?
  • What specific internal skills and capabilities will pharma companies need for pursuing blockchain technology?
  • What specific types of value will blockchain bring to patients, clinicians, payers and regulators?
  • How might blockchain have an impact on the delivery of value-based care in the future?


What blockchain experts say…

Blockchain technology has a number of commercial applications for pharma. Those applications might range from streamlining sales operations and implementing outcomes-based contracts to ensuring compliance in sensitive business areas. The question commercial leaders in pharma should ask themselves is this: 'If I'm using a database to solve this problem, could using a blockchain make the process more efficient or secure, or could it enable me to do more with my data?'
Jennifer Hinkel
McGivney Global Advisors

"Blockchain removes the intermediary elements [of pharma processes] because it provides visibility, a full audit trail and the security element. If we look at clinical trials, there are things that we could stop doing once we use blockchain. It could save some costs because we don't need intermediary people or service providers to do additional checks of an activity. This is revamping the concept of how we do things now. Today, we go from point A and go through B and C to reach D. The idea with blockchain is that we go straight from A to D."
Lee Choun

"You do not need to abandon any existing database. You can integrate the database you use now and link it to blockchain to create a single version of the truth."
Heather Fraser

What to expect

  • A detailed report exploring how blockchain technology could radically and securely improve pharma's transparency and data sharing to streamline internal processes, improve commercial models and build trust with stakeholders
  • An examination of 9 key issues that pharma developers need to understand and respond to
  • 12 targeted questions put to blockchain experts.
  • Their perceptive responses that yielded 35 current insights supported by 44 directly quoted comments.

Expert contributors

The report harnesses critical insights from front line industry experts who understand the potential for blockchain technology and the key areas where pharma can benefit.

  • Disa Lee Choun is the Head of Innovation within the Global Clinical Sciences & Operations (GCSO) group at UCB in Slough, UK where she is the lead for UCB on the IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) blockchain project and is also co-leading the first PhUSE (Pharmaceutical Users Software Exchange, a non-profit organisation) blockchain workgroup.
  • Heather Fraser is the Global Lead for Life Sciences and Healthcare at the IBM Institute for Business Value, where she is responsible for leading the development of business insights for health, life sciences and technology. She has also published several journal articles on blockchain including Team Medicine: How life sciences can win with blockchain.
  • Jennifer Hinkel is a Partner at McGivney Global Advisors, a biopharma consultancy. Widely experienced in US, European and Latin American markets, her focus includes blockchain applications for pharma and biotech, innovative contracting and pricing strategies and forecasting economic impact of policy and payment models.

Why choose FirstWord FutureViews reports?

FirstWord's FutureViews reports analyse in detail significant emerging technology and market trends that pharma executives need to understand if they are to manage the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead. These concise and highly focussed reports:

  • Are based on primary research with experts whose knowledge and current experience is proven
  • Present clear expert insights free from secondary source information and spurious observations
  • Include only latest research and content–we don't reuse or recycle content