Improving the Transparency of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain through the Adoption of Quick Response (QR) Code, Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain Technology: One Result: Ending the Opioid Crisis

  • Justin D. Evans

Abstract

Over the past two years, Americans in nearly every state have suffered adverse effects from counterfeit medications, many of whom have died. The main culprit is Fentanyl-tainted counterfeit opiates which often lead to fatal overdoses. The increasing epidemic of counterfeit prescription medications extends beyond social classes, gender, race, and age. For instance, pop star Prince recently overdosed on counterfeit Hydrocodone containing synthetic Fentanyl. Shockingly, one in ten medications sold in developing countries are counterfeit; either containing incorrect doses of active ingredients or containing toxic contaminants retained from the production process. The popularity of counterfeit medications stems from cheaper costs, but also because of the ease with which these counterfeit products can be purchased. While the blockchain has gained its fame from Bitcoin, its potential implications are far reaching. In this paper, I propose the use of QR code and the IoT (Internet of Things) sensor devices leveraging the blockchain for increased transparency of the pharmaceutical supply chain and manufacturing process. The data collected from the devices would then be transferred to the blockchain, enabling consumers to use an app to verify the provenance of their medication.

Author Biography

Justin D. Evans
Justin Evans is a Juris Doctor Candidate for the Class of 2019, Michigan State University; M.S. 2014, Vanderbilt University; B.S. 2011, Fayetteville State University. He has been previously published in the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law. The author would like to thank Bruce Bean, Professor at Michigan State University of Law, for his encouragement and insight in advising the author on the article. Joe Koenig and Martin Luther IV for your assistance for editing. Finally, the author would like to thank Danielle Roberson for her unwavering support of the author in any and everything he sets his mind to.
Published
2019-03-07
How to Cite
Evans, J. D. (2019). Improving the Transparency of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain through the Adoption of Quick Response (QR) Code, Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain Technology: One Result: Ending the Opioid Crisis. Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law &Amp; Policy, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.5195/tlp.2019.227
Section
Articles