Introducing the PharmaLedger Association: Building a Digital Trust Ecosystem for Healthcare

After three successful years supporting the design and adoption of blockchain-enabled healthcare solutions, the 36-month PharmaLedger project comes to an end in December 2022. Starting in October 2022, the new PharmaLedger Association (PLA) is actively recruiting members to carry forward the vision of PharmaLedger.

Detailed information about joining PLA, including membership levels, is now available at pharmaledger.org.

Transitioning from the PharmaLedger Project to the PharmaLedger Association

One of the key goals of the PharmaLedger project was to ensure sustainability and impact of its results. To that end, the project endorsed the creation of PLA as a new legal entity in March 2022. PLA is a not-for-profit association that offers a venue for collaboration to accelerate innovation and adoption in healthcare, focusing on digital healthcare solutions that achieve mutual benefits for all stakeholders.

PLA inherits all use cases of the PharmaLedger project, from the domains of supply chain, health data and clinical trials. The Association will leverage a similar organisational and governance structure to ensure the healthcare industry and its stakeholders are the ones driving the priorities and investments.

What PLA brings to digital transformation in healthcare is the freedom of owning its solutions, and customising, deploying and enhancing them without dependency on third-party proprietary solutions or vendor lock-in. Additionally, PLA facilitates alignment and operational standards consistency across its member organisations, optimising time and investments on industry-aligned solutions.

To patients and users PLA will offer a trusted source of healthcare information, data security and privacy. Users of PharmaLedger digital solutions will be empowered to own their data and manage consent to its use.

Central to PLA’s purpose is supporting a Digital Trust Ecosystem (DTE) in healthcare. A DTE connects, protects, empowers, builds, and sustains the modern digital healthcare experience for all stakeholders.

The Vision of PLA

Why is PLA needed? It takes an ecosystem to sustain a neutral, trusted, shared infrastructure for secure data exchange in healthcare. PLA aims to create that infrastructure to solve problems using a “whole ecosystem” approach, only developing and launching solutions that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders. A sample of real-world business challenges PLA could take on include:

Becoming a Member of PLA

Any organisation or company in the healthcare industry can become a member of PLA, including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacy chains, clinics, hospitals, technology or other specialised service providers, healthcare providers, NGOs, and patient organisations, among others. Members will have the opportunity to be an active part of the creation of the modern healthcare experience, and of a global utility network that supports collaboration for true digital transformation. Membership allows you to:

  • Accelerate digital innovation and learning in your organisation
  • Participate in the creation of a common, secure and stakeholder-managed infrastructure for digital healthcare
  • Receive qualified and fully tested healthcare solutions
  • Pool resources and risk with like-minded partners to realise increased benefits
  • Add your voice and expertise to digital healthcare development
  • Benefit from collaborating with small and large organisations
  • Share ideas of good solutions and let PLA fund development
  • Promote your existing solutions within the PLA network
  • Contribute with open-source development and find healthcare partners to work on innovative projects
  • Make decisions on the prioritisation of our solution pipeline
  • Operate a node on the PLA network to strengthen trust and resiliency in healthcare

Download the PLA info deck for more details about membership.

PLA: A Venue for Collaboration and Innovation

Ultimately, the problems facing healthcare today can’t be solved by any one organisation or service provider alone. PLA offers a standardised and trusted open-source platform in a DTE where ideas become projects and projects become products. 

ePI by PharmaLedger – More than just a PDF on your phone! 

PLA’s first go-to-market product builds on the most mature use case of the PharmaLedger project: electronic Product Information (ePI). In early 2023, PLA will launch its ePI product on the PharmaLedger Network. This solution will allow anyone to access the latest Product Information through a simple mobile phone scan of the barcode on a medical product box. 

Why does ePI on blockchain matter? 

Displaying product information in digital format or even on a mobile app is nothing new! Most people have never thought of this or tried it out, as luckily most people don’t need to search for information from paper or digital leaflets very often. Unfortunately, those who do, such as patients, medicine users, carers, and health providers, rely the most on the information provided. 

Paper leaflets are hard to read, cumbersome to navigate and inconvenient to store. They carry regulated information, but despite best efforts are not delivered in a user-friendly or patient-centric way.

ePI by PharmaLedger responds to an unmet need in healthcare for an easy-to-use medicine leaflet that doesn’t compromise on user experience, security, trust, accuracy or reliability. 

Developed through the collaboration of pharmaceutical companies, patient organisations and technology and regulatory SMEs, ePI by PharmaLedger is designed to ensure:

  • Medicine users, health care providers and carers have a free-of-charge trusted source of information, having access at all times to the latest approved leaflet
  • Manufacturers can invest in an industry-wide solution, compliant with all regulatory requirements and capable of high return on investment
  • The latest leaflet is available thanks to the dynamic updates enabled by the secure network, which cannot be said for PDFs stored on websites or central repositories
  • Freedom for the industry to create a shared infrastructure guided by common standards and without third-party proprietary technology or vendor lock-in
  • Decreased enhancement and maintenance costs, sharing risks and leveraging the direct input from patient organisations

ePI is just one of the solutions of PLA, the first to be launched. The network opened up by ePI can now be leveraged for countless value-adding solutions and most importantly, the network represents the first step in creating a Digital Trust Ecosystem for healthcare.

In the future, the ePI solution offers a host of potential services to the patient, depending on user consent:

  • Ability to download the app and customise its use
  • Notification if the Product Information is updated
  • Notification if the product batch is recalled
  • Additional checks on the authenticity of the package (serial number, product status or even authentication features on the package)
  • Drug interaction issues with other scanned medicines
  • Adherence reminders created with a link to the prescription
  • Disposal of excess medicine instructions based on the expiry date
  • Adverse event reporting 
  • Adding specific medicine information to the electronic health record (EHR)
  • and many more to come!

All PLA members can contribute to the strategic direction of PLA by providing input in the annual strategic planning process. Members of the Board of Directors also provide input and are responsible for reviewing and approving the strategy. Future products on the PharmaLedger Network could include functionalities for Detecting Falsified Medicines, Adherence Reminders, Adverse Health Reporting, links with other health apps, and more.


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