Evaluating Blockchain for the Governance of the Plasma Derivatives Supply Chain: How Distributed Ledger Technology Can Mitigate Plasma Supply Chain Risks
Objective: This exploratory study examines how distributed ledger technologies could be used within the plasma derivatives supply chain. The plasma derivatives are used increasingly in the pharmaceutical market and the supply chain is global. However, there are significant risks relating to the governance of the supply. The risks include unclear origin of plasma and the propagation of contaminated or poor-quality blood to the pharmaceutical production process. From an ethical perspective, the risk is that vulnerable individuals are exploited in the donation process. Finally, the plasma supply chain currently depends on only a few exporters of plasma, which presents a supply chain risk. Design: The blockchain technology is piloted in other areas of pharmaceutical supply chains and in this study we examine those solutions and conceptualize how a similar solution can be applied to the plasma supply chain. We identify risks within the plasma supply chain and discuss how blockchain-based solutions can mitigate those risks. Results: Drawing on existing literature within the pharmaceutical blockchain arena, we introduce a solution to verify the origin of plasma. We also model how the blockchain technology can be used to tackle ethical and supply chain risks. Conclusions: Blockchain can have a role in mitigating plasma supply chain risks. The area is, however, novel and requires more research.
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