How Blockchain Is Preparing to Change Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are complicated, long-term and expensive, and they can often be unpredictable for pharmaceutical companies. This means that pharmaceutical companies can often only run trials for new drugs twice, maybe three times, per year. However, the outcome of a successful product is extremely unlikely, thanks to the lengthy development timelines.

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Due to this slim chance, the costs become incredibly high for everyone – starting with the investigator and ending with the consumer at the end of the process, buying the drug for use.  Nowadays, as well as having to deal with the challenge of the high costs, researchers are battling with the challenge of reproducing data accurately, sharing this data in an effective and efficient manner (which also includes highly sensitive personal data), concerns with privacy and strategies with which they can enrol their patients.


Blockchain is a network platform on which databases are able to store time-stamped transaction documents and records. The separate nodes throughout the network verify and archive all of the transactions recorded and supply a history trail of every transaction ever within the network.

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Blockchain tackles any privacy issues involved – the data is stored on a network of multiple databases, with many copies, meaning that blockchain is highly secure and is almost impossible to hack or steal.

Data Management

Pfizer, Sanofi and Amgen, three of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, are teaming up to explore the use of blockchain technology, effectively minimizing the speed and the cost of developing new drugs in adaptive phase 1 studies, such as those by

Massive amounts of data are being produced through the staging of clinical trials, and the impact of a new network specifically designed for this will mean the pressure from regulatory and commercial agencies will be lessened.

Certain drug trials will need access to specific patients and their data in order to carry out the most effective trials – and at the moment, this is incredibly difficult to do, with the data being kept within all sorts of systems and networks, scattered and indefinable. A huge 85% of patients were not even aware of trials relevant to them, meaning they – and the producers – could not benefit from their involvement.

Blockchain will have a global impact on the streamlining of clinical trials, reducing cost and time.

Gabriel Montgomery

Gabriel Montgomery

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