IEEE Pharma Supply Blockchain Forum: Improving the Pharmacy Supply Chain

When it comes to Blockchain, the big question today is how to put it to work for you. We keep our eyes peeled each year for events that will interest you in this area — and we believe this year’s Pharma Supply Block Chain Forum fits the bill. So read on for highlights from this Event review – Pharma Conference.

The Pharma Supply Block Chain Forum

This event was held on June 6, 2017 at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus in Rockville, Maryland. It was an information packed, one-day, educational program about Blockchain technology and its uses with respect to the Pharma supply chain. This was not just a one-off event. It was the first in a series of events whose goal is to promote Blockchain technology in the pharmaceutical sector.

Who were the speakers?

This forum was impressive for the breadth and depth of experience of its presenters. The forum included regulators, representatives from the academic world as well as industry and technology experts. Speakers included representatives from the following companies:

The Pharma Supply Block Chain Forum spread wide its audience net

From Vice Presidents, senior directors and managers, to benefit managers and hospital staff, as well as government regulators, students and researchers  — the content added value to all attendees. The industries most affected were those in the manufacturing end of the pharmaceutical, biotech and life sciences as well as wholesalers, hospitals, and technology vendors.

What topics did the Forum cover? Forum presenters expressed their views on the following:

  • Improving the drug supply chain from manufacturers to patient, including the opportunities for collaboration from IOT, AI, Blockchain, DLT’s just to name a few
  • Increasing revenue from data in the Blockchain
  • Digital identity concerns in the drug supply chain
  • Working better with trusted partners
  • Understanding what the regulators have to say about the drug supply chain
  • Smart contracts
  • Management and security of data
  • Integrity of the supply chain

The keynote address, for example, asked the question whether Blockchain is the right fit for Pharma’s supply chain. Other speaker topics ranged from a food safety case study to the smart way to do smart contracts. The Digital Identity issue inherent in using Blockchain for Pharma included tips on using a double layer framework to secure both the product supply chain and with respect to patient information.

Another presentation reviewed the contenders for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) track and trace program, a program intended to help the pharmaceutical industry comply with the Act. DSCSA imposed new requirements on manufacturers, repackagers, drug dispensers, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and their trading partners. The new rules with respect to standards of practice and product tracing phase in over the next six years which made this a particularly appropriate topic for this Blockchain Forum.

IEEE areas of pharmacy and supply chain interest


Supply chain operations and IT. With respect to supply operations, the Forum aimed at those with an interest in:

  • Distribution
  • Management
  • Partnership development
  • Quality Control
  • Compliance
  • Finance
  • Security

On the IT side, the Forum impacted those whose work touches:

  • Big Data
  • Data governance
  • Cloud management
  • Data architecture in Enterprise corporations
  • Information security
  • Data engineering
  • Tech innovations

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this list is that it is not exhaustive. And, as this was only the first in a series of forum events, expectations for the entire series run high.

To talk more about this topic, or anything else, please contact us. We look forward to answering all your questions about Blockchain and its impact on the Pharma supply chain.