IEEE Releases Findings from First Detailed Study of Blockchain Adoption in the Pharmaceutical Enterprise

Independent, comprehensive study examines barriers and benefits of adoption with pharmaceutical supply chain executives currently evaluating or testing the technology


IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), today announced the upcoming publication of a report entitled: The State of Blockchain Adoption on the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain. The independent study, a first-of-its-kind, examines the barriers and perceived benefits of adopting the technology with insights from industry executives currently exploring use cases or testing blockchain in their operations. The study cuts to the core of key protocol and process questions addressing barriers to advancing industry-wide consideration and adoption of the technology.

“This unique study further highlights IEEE’s commitment to better understand the pharmaceutical industry’s concerns with adopting new technologies in their heavily regulated and complex global supply chain operation,” said Tim Mackey, co-chair of the IEEE-SA’s Supply Chain/Clinical Trials Technology Implementation Industry Connections Program. “This formal evaluation of the challenges and benefits of blockchain is a valuable information resource for the IEEE, as well as regulators, technology developers and the industry, that further emphasizes a need for more awareness and education to help build consensus for standards development that advances enterprise adoption.”

The framework for the study originated with common themes unveiled at the first IEEE Pharma Supply Blockchain Forum, which took place on 6 June 2017 on the campus of John Hopkins University in Rockville, MD. Forum attendees included regulators and executives from manufacturers, wholesalers and dispensaries—key partners on the pharmaceutical supply chain—exploring how blockchain can optimize operations and better secure the supply chain to combat the rising epidemic of counterfeit medicine.

The U.S.-based study reached 300 qualified executives familiar with blockchain applications on the pharmaceutical supply chain, and highlights the confidence level of trust amongst trusted partners in an autonomous, decentralized system, as well as exploring the dynamics of finance, data ownership and beneficiaries. The intended purpose of the study is to expose what is needed to increase confidence in the technology and advance its adoption to achieve the desired outcome of securing and optimizing the pharmaceutical supply chain, and ultimately improving upon patient care. More information regarding the study is available on IEEE’s blockchain website . The full report will be available for purchase in October 2017.

IEEE will be hosting a half-day workshop highlighting sections of the report on Day One of the HDA’s (Healthcare Distribution Alliance) 8th Annual Traceability Seminar to be held 8-10 November 2017 at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel. See more information and/or register for this workshop.

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