The role of blockchain in the pharmaceutical industry supply chain as a tool for reducing the flow of counterfeit drugs

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Guzman Trujllo, Christian Guillermo
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MBA in Information Systems
Dublin Business School
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Counterfeit drugs are a problem that the pharmaceutical industry has been facing for many years. In the last decade this problem has grown at an alarming rate, forcing governments to enact laws in order to regulate transactions in the supply chain. There are serious concerns for both governments and pharmaceutical companies around the world as such drugs are putting customers’ lives at risk, while also damaging the industry’s profitability and reputation. In this context, this research focuses on the use of blockchain technology as a solution to complying with the Drug Security Supply Chain Act (DSSCA). It will attempt to assess how the readiness of the industry and the limitations of blockchain technology affect the latter’s adoption and its suitability for compliance with the DSSCA while simultaneously reducing the flow of counterfeit drugs. This Dissertation consists of an introduction which describes the counterfeit drugs issues and the industry’s current status in its fight against them. The second chapter consists of a literature review of the main subjects related to the problem and focuses on assessing and analyzing what has been researched in order to present a better understanding of the advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and risks inherent in blockchain technology. The research methodology, data analysis, and findings are presented in chapters three and four. A discussion follows in chapter five focusing on giving an answer to the research question posed and finally conclusions are drawn together in chapter six.