Horizon 2020: Recommendation for PharmaLedger governance, operating model and Constitution

Recommendations are offered for the future of PharmaLedger in a governance report.

The PharmaLedger project is sponsored by the European Federation of Pharma Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). As a grantee of the Horizon 2020 programme, which funds projects focused on innovation, the goal of PharmaLedger is to create a more trusted healthcare ecosystem by building a blockchain-enabled platform. 

As the current sponsorship by the IMI implies, a desire to innovate is at the centre of our PharmaLedger blockchain project. The platform intends to use this technology in order to take advantage of beneficial blockchain solutions. However, in order for these solutions to continue to evolve and operate in the future and beyond the three-year project end date, sustainable governance and operating models must be developed. 

To assist with this task, a public document, the “Blockchain platform modifications and interoperability” provides summaries and recommendations for governance, operating and membership models. Both the current and future versions of the PharmaLedger platform are discussed in the document. In this article, we will briefly introduce what you can find in this report, which you can download below.

PharmaLedger Governance Model

Deciding which governance model will be used for PharmaLedger is critical, as it will determine both how important decisions will be made and who will make them. Additionally, if use cases for the platform’s current iteration grow enough to require a production-grade business network, the appropriate governance model for the platform’s future version may need to be launched earlier than December 2022. The document includes appropriate design principles to aid the evaluation of governance models for both initial and future use, as well as an analysis of the platform’s expected stakeholders.

The report identifies four unique governance models to consider for PharmaLedger: Ecosystem led, Service Provider led, Foundation led (Independently governed) and Foundation led (Ecosystem governed). Each model is evaluated with pros and cons, illustrative diagrams and a look at how each fits into the PharmaLedger design principles. 

While the document recommends either an Ecosystem led or Foundation led (Ecosystem governed) model as the most viable option, the target model will not be chosen until more feedback is gathered from the PharmaLedger partners.

Operating Models

Operating models illustrate different components of governance and how they work together to make, implement and monitor decisions. Although a variety of operating models are considered, the report recommends a more integrated model due to the alignment with our PharmaLedger principles (specifically the “simpler is better” principle). 

The report goes on to describe the specific components included in this model’s structure, such as the governing board, committees created by the board and the roles of everyone involved. A membership model along with its possible tiers (and the membership benefits they would offer) is also discussed here. 

PharmaLedger’s Future Governance Model: “Next Gen”

Despite the recommendations made throughout the document, it is still too early to determine the best PharmaLedger future governance model, referred to as “Next Gen,” after the official end of the project (the end of 2023). During the next two years, the platform will likely grow in ways that cannot be predicted, and thus, the future needs of the platform cannot be predicted at this time. Therefore, decisions regarding which models of governance and membership should be adopted.

By gathering data at the end of the project’s second year and finalising design decisions towards the start of the third, the majority of 2022 will be used to implement and modify PharmaLedger’s governance model. 

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