Pharma Blockchain Will Reach New Heights by 2030

Blockchain, News, Opinion | May 19, 2022 By:

Blockchain technology has seen impressive growth in the past few years. The pharmaceutical industry has emerged as a leader in this movement, showcasing an almost industry-wide shift towards blockchain adoption. This shift will likely continue, too.

Recent trends and market research suggest that pharma blockchains are on the verge of skyrocketing growth. Here’s a closer look at these developments, what’s driving them and how they could play out.

Pharma Blockchain’s Explosive Growth

The pharmaceutical industry has explored blockchain’s potential for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed faster growth. As the pandemic put new stress on pharmaceutical supply chains, organizations turned to blockchains as a solution.

As vaccines began to roll out, two U.K. hospitals implemented blockchain systems to monitor their transport. The project showed how distributed ledgers could provide needed transparency into pharma products’ real-time conditions and locations in transport. Now that pharma blockchains have seen mainstream real-world implementation, they’re poised for substantial growth.

The pharma blockchain market was worth $212.7 million in 2020, but experts predict it will grow beyond $25 billion by 2030. This astronomical growth could revolutionize both pharmaceutical operations and the blockchain industry.

How Blockchain Could Help Pharma

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted several urgent needs in the pharma sector that blockchains could address. Most notably, pharmaceutical supply chains need visibility. Sensitive products like vaccines require real-time monitoring to ensure they arrive safely, and supply chains must become more transparent to fight fraud.

An estimated one in ten pharmaceutical products in low-income countries are either substandard or falsified. Cargo theft costs the pharma industry more than $1 billion a year. The sector needs more insight into its supply chain to prevent theft and fraud, and blockchains provide the means to gain that visibility.

Similarly, cybersecurity is a growing concern among pharma companies. Poor security exposed 33 billion records between 2018 and 2020, and cybercriminals will likely target the industry more as it increases its reliance on digital data. Blockchains could enable these businesses to store and share sensitive information without fear of a data breach.

How the Pharma Industry Could Help Blockchains

Just as blockchain technology could improve the pharma sector, these pharma trends could help blockchain markets. Blockchain adoption in pharma has gone mainstream, with organizations like Anthem, Aetna, Cleveland Health and Pfizer investing in the technology. This recognition from well-known, industry-leading companies could drive awareness and inspire more confidence in blockchain technology.

Many blockchain use cases within pharma are applicable in other sectors, too. Cybersecurity and supply chain visibility are relevant across industries, so as pharma companies apply blockchains to these areas, they provide real-world arguments for adoption elsewhere. As these projects grow and become more common, more people will recognize blockchain’s potential.

This rising awareness and confidence will, in turn, drive more investment into blockchain technology. More businesses in more sectors will embrace it and the technology itself will improve with more research and development. The blockchain market as a whole could see considerable growth because of pharma’s involvement.

Bumps in the Road Ahead

While these trends are promising, pharma blockchain projects still face some challenges. Regulatory uncertainty is the largest barrier to blockchain adoption right now, especially in pharma. The pharmaceutical industry has a strict regulatory environment, and since blockchains are relatively new, where they fall in this landscape remains uncertain.

As this technology matures and sees more prominent use cases, regulations will adapt to address it. However, some companies may not pursue blockchain adoption until these new laws are certain, wanting to avoid compliance complications. This uncertainty could slow pharma blockchain’s growth.

Technological concerns remain relevant, too. Blockchain platforms must ensure interoperability and uptime to provide the scalability and reliability they need for long-term growth in pharma. Cost and implementation challenges may also slow blockchain’s growth, though these will likely ease with time and development.

Pharma Blockchain’s Future Looks Bright

Rapid technological disruption is rare in an industry as highly regulated and critical as the pharmaceutical sector. Despite this, blockchain technology is skyrocketing in pharma, seeing rising investment and adoption from established industry leaders. If this trend follows its current course, it could revolutionize both pharmaceuticals and the blockchain market.

While some factors remain uncertain, there are promising signs on the horizon for pharma blockchain. The technology will likely reach new heights within the next decade, taking both industries into the future.