Over 10 different eye drop brands have recently been recalled due to an outbreak of bacteria in the products. Cases like this highlight the need for blockchain technology within the supply chain processes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) both urged the public to refrain from purchasing artificial tears, while Global Pharma Healthcare notified distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and customers to stop usage.
This article from Good Morning America explains more in-depth details of the products and people affected by the outbreak – https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news/story/death-toll-linked-contaminated-eye-drops-rises-3-98038783
In a pharmaceutical scare such as this, blockchain could have aided in the stopping of the contamination or helped prevent the contamination altogether by closely tracking the production of the eye drops and halting the process when the bacteria was detected.
The article stated that the type of bacteria found in this outbreak is common in healthcare settings and spreads from the use of unhygienic equipment and surfaces; according to the CDC, this bacterium has already caused around 32,600 infections and 2,700 deaths in the U.S. For future use, blockchain can help track equipment, tools, and surfaces in the healthcare industry and determine their sterilization status in order to lessen and ultimately prevent any more infections and deaths.
Also found in the article, the CDC said they are “continuing to monitor for cases and to collect additional information” and the FDA is “testing… unopened product to evaluate for intrinsic contamination.” Blockchain would have been quite helpful in these efforts, as the data collected from these tests and monitoring would be carefully documented and shared with all parties involved for transparency throughout the process in the goal of halting infections and making the products safe for use.