In this paper, I assess the current state of the opioid epidemic in the United States which has caused countless deaths since the 1990s. I analyze the current state of the pharmaceutical industry and how it is involved in perpetuating the opioid crisis in the United States through its supply chain. I identify four main issues which lead to the continuation of the opioid crisis: the shift to a continuous manufacturing model, the consolidation of pharmacy benefit managers, pharmaceutical companies' influence on medical professionals prescribing opioids to patients and the creation of an informal supply chain in which patients distribute their unused prescription pills. To address these issues and alleviate the problem of the opioid crisis caused by supply chains I propose that pharmacy benefit managers implement blockchain technology to increase supply chain visibility, increasing buyer power in the market and developing a reverse logistics system within the supply chain to dispose of unused prescriptions.
- Pharmaceutical Supply Chain's Effect on the Opioid Crisis in the United States