Memphis company, university develop blockchain plan for pharma innovation

A partnership comprising Memphis-based Good Shepherd Pharmacy, the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, and Lipscomb University in Nashville seeks to develop a blockchain software platform for nonprofit pharmacies nationwide. The initiative could result in better access to needed prescription drugs for underinsured patients.

A partnership comprising Memphis-based Good Shepherd Pharmacy, the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, and Lipscomb University in Nashville seeks to develop a blockchain software platform for nonprofit pharmacies nationwide. The initiative could result in better access to needed prescription drugs for underinsured patients. Two applications, RemediChain and ScriptRide, will use the blockchain platform to transfer donated prescriptions to patients. RemediChain allows individual patients to contribute unused oral chemotherapy to those who cannot afford the drugs, while ScriptRide coordinates delivery of those drugs to patients. The RemediChain application will use blockchain to provide "end-to-end traceability" for a drug from its donor point of origin to the end-user of the donated medication. It is estimated that 20% or more of filled prescriptions are thrown away. Good Shepherd will oversee the process of receiving and redistributing donated medications, while the two universities will help build out the blockchain infrastructure. Lipscomb's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has explored the potential of blockchain in drug supply management since 2015. Phil Baker, CEO of Good Shepherd, collaborated with Lipscomb associate professor Kevin Clauson, PharmD, to explore ways to merge blockchain and pharmacy for reclaiming unused medicines.