Merck is one of the largest pharmaceutical countries in the world and it is currently looking for a way to deal with counterfeit products in the market. One of the most interesting methods the company is looking to implement is blockchain technology, which can help manage the supply chain quite well.
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.
The purpose of this system is to prevent counterfeit products on the market. With fewer fake goods in the system, not only will the company be able to protect what it offers, but users may be safer as well. As Merck stated, the technology
“enables a secure, reliable 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 stored information can be accessed whenever 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 market, 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.