Blockchain Platform For Cancer Medicine Distribution Planned By FedEx Institute And Good Shepherd Pharmacy

Blockchain, News | July 9, 2018 By:

The FedEx Institute of Technology has teamed with the Good Shepherd Pharmacy to create a blockchain platform aimed at helping cancer patients get quicker access to vital medications.

Based in Memphis, Good Shepherd Pharmacy is a nonprofit membership pharmacy that specializes in supplying prescription medications to uninsured Tennessee residents. Members pay a low monthly fee and get all their prescriptions at cost, with no markup. A portion of each membership goes toward sponsoring a low-income member that cannot afford membership fees. The nonprofit claims to save their members 60 percent to 90 percent each month.

Founded in 2003, the FedEx Institute of Technology is an advanced technology and research organization that serves as the front door to the research infrastructure and innovation capabilities of the University of Memphis. It functions as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and innovation in emerging technologies by supporting cross-campus research innovation clusters. The institute enjoys a unique innovation partnership with global shipping giant FedEx, which sponsors the institute for advanced research purposes.

The two organizations are developing a blockchain platform, called REMEDI, that will be designed to retrieve unused medications from cancer patients and pass them on to economically disadvantaged patients who would not be able to regularly afford them.

“In Tennessee alone, over $10 million worth of perfectly good prescription medication gets flushed down the toilet every year,” Phil Baker, Good Shepherd Pharmacy’s CEO, said. “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 FedEx Institute will be conducting an event called “hacknight” with Blockchain 901, a professional organization that aims to expand the tech workforce in the Memphis area. Hacknight, which will take place on July 10 at the Fishbowl, will offer blockchain enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to connect and discuss the challenges of Good Shepherd’s blockchain resource development program.

“One of the most valuable resources universities can provide to the innovation ecosystem is the space to explore new ideas and opportunities in an unrestrained environment,” said Cody Behles, FedEx Institute’s Innovation and Research Support’s assistant director. “Memphis is attracting next-wave startups that recognize that setting up shop in traditional renovation markets like San Francisco is not always the best business decision. We are here to cultivate collaboration through aligned partnerships and amplification or opportunity.”