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Zhe XuFollow


Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Embargo Period


Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S.E.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



In the realm of pharmaceuticals, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain for drugs has faced significant strains. The increased demand for vaccines and therapeutics has revealed critical weaknesses in the current drug supply chain management systems. If not addressed, these challenges could lead to severe societal impacts, including the rise of counterfeit medications and diminishing trust in government authorities.

The study identified that more than the current strategies, such as the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the U.S., which focuses on unique authentication and traceability codes for prescription drugs, is needed to eliminate the risk of drug counterfeiting. The study noted the need for a centralized, secure system for authenticating drugs before distribution.

This investigation explores the potential of blockchain technology as a solution to these challenges. Blockchain’s decentralized, immutable, and transparent nature could revolutionize drug supply chain management by enhancing traceability, security, and transparency. This technology combats counterfeit drugs, builds stakeholder trust through cryptographic security, improves monitoring and compliance with realtime data access, and automates processes through smart contracts. Furthermore, blockchain facilitates data exchange, fostering collaboration across the supply chain.

Our work focuses explicitly on utilizing blockchain technology to address information security concerns in the pharmaceutical supply chain. While it involves leveraging existing innovations like DNA tagging and unique identities for drug identification, it is essential to clarify that the development of these specific technologies is attributed to other researchers and teams. We contribute to integrating these existing technologies into a blockchain framework to enhance drug tracking and data management. Each drug’s unique characteristics are recorded and stored on the blockchain via smart contracts.

Moreover, the research compares three major open-source consortium blockchain solutions, assessing their functionality and scalability. Simulated attacks were conducted on these blockchain platforms to evaluate their resilience against data breaches and service disruptions. The results indicate that adherence to security design principles is crucial for data security, and the unique architecture of each platform significantly influences its performance in terms of speed, scalability, and fault tolerance.

First Advisor

Wayne Burleson