Blockchain believers have delivered little more than hype, mostly failing to get it deployed outside the cryptocurrency space where the technology was developed. But a little-noticed US law could change that, bringing the ledger system to the pharmaceutical business. The Drug Supply Chain Security Act from 2013 requires drug companies and their supply-chain partners to more closely track where their finished products are shipped, making counterfeit medicines harder to sneak into the system and easing drug recalls. By 2020, pharmacies and hospitals must be able to verify that the drugs they are dispensing came from manufacturers or repackagers, which divvy up huge batches of pharmaceuticals into the actual bottles that get distributed in pharmacies or hospitals. While pharma giants are still evaluating how to comply, healthcare analysts say the impending deadline is leading firms to seriously consider the blockchain, since it is designed to create detailed and immutable databases. “T...

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