Blockchain Application to the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Open Access
Author:
Stoltz, Jessica
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Robert Alexander Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. John C. Spychalski, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Blockchain
  • Supply chain
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • DSCSA
  • Healthcare
  • OBR
  • Chargebacks
Abstract:
As supply chains are becoming increasingly more complex, there are always new ways to advance them for efficiency, especially as technology evolves and expands. Blockchain is an emerging technology that has many potential applications to the supply chain, namely, the pharmaceutical supply chain. This thesis examines the current pharmaceutical supply chain from both payment and product standpoints. It explains blockchain technology and provides applications for meeting regulation compliance, creating efficiency for the complex payment system, and providing better treatment for consumers of the products by utilizing the supply chain. This thesis concludes by highlighting the benefits of blockchain application. While it concludes that it is ultimately beneficial to invest in blockchain solutions, it does comment on the overarching challenges it would take to implement them, as many of the applications face similar challenges. The thesis recommends implementing a blockchain system as a means to create efficiency and cut costs due to administrative tasks and slow lag time, as well as create a more secure and interoperable way to store data. However, it notes that due to the relative novelty of the technology, there are many hurdles that must be overcome, namely creating an industry standard, getting all parties to adopt the technology, and cost, that can be overcome if the industry works together to solve them.