FedEx Institute Partners With Pharmacy to Use Blockchain for Cancer Medicine Distribution

The FedEx Institute of Technology has announced its partnership with pharmacy services company Good Shepherd Pharmacy to develop new blockchain-based infrastructure to help cancer patients get medications, news outlet Commercial Appeal reported July 6.

The FedEx Institute of Technology is an organization that serves as a promoter of interdisciplinary research in emerging technologies that operates in tandem with the research infrastructure of the University of Memphis. The institutions launched the Institute in February of this year in order to make University of Memphis a center of technology and research.

Memphis-based Good Shepherd Pharmacy reportedly recognized blockchain as a means to retrieve unused medications from cancer patients and pass them on to economically disadvantaged patients who would not be able to regularly afford them. A secure and immutable ledger would allow for a safe and confidential distribution of medical information. Good Shepherd Pharmacy’s CEO Phil Baker said:

“In Tennessee alone, over $10 million worth of perfectly good prescription medication gets flushed down the toilet every year. Blockchain is the solution for that problem. The REMEDI project (REclaiming MEDicine) will divert valuable medication into the hands of patients who would not otherwise use it.”

The Institute will host an event to attract blockchain experts and enthusiasts to discuss Good Shepherd’s proposed initiative. The event will be held in tandem with Blockchain 901, a professional organization that aims to expand the tech workforce in the Memphis area.

In May, FedEx CEO Fred Smith said that blockchain is “the next frontier that’s going to completely change worldwide supply chains.” In February, FedEx joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), a focus group whose members include rail operator BNSF, JD Logistics, and GE Transportation.

Last month, another blockchain-based pharmaceutical project was announced by Microsoft and supply tracking solutions provider Adents. The new system offers end-to-end traceability and visibility from the point of origin along the whole supply chain, which allows users to trace single product items within a case.

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