Shoppers Drug Mart, a Canadian retail pharmacy, has announced today a collaboration with blockchain-based TruTrace Technologies Inc in an attempt to validate drug quality and protect intellectual property throughout the logistics network. As reported by Yahoo Finance Canada, the collaboration was announced at the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick.
The pilot project, in collaboration with the subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Limited, the largest Canadian food retailer, will track product data from licensed producers to distribution warehouses and will be added to a blockchain ledger. The data will be available to Shoppers Drug Mart and the authorized labs, producers and patients.
The initial stage is likely to terminate towards the end of July and the project is expected to cope with larger volumes of product starting November.
Shoppers Drug Mart VP Ken Weisbrod emphasized on instilling confidence in a patient by furnishing apt standards of traceability and accountability of medical cannabis in comparison with other drugs. He said:
“When a patient takes any other medication there is an expectation that the medicine is standardized, and they can expect consistent clinical outcomes and results. Although that’s not always a guarantee with medical cannabis at the moment, we’re hoping this new program can help change that.”
TruTrace, formerly known as BLOCKStrain Technology Corp, is a company focused on using technological innovation to enhance the authenticity of the cannabis industry. The company incorporates StrainSecure software to track product information at each stage of growth and processing.
TruTrace CEO Robert Galazara said:
“We need to be able to authenticate that when you sell the product six months from now, that a product is the same exact product that you were selling previously.
Part of the reason we utilize blockchain is to be able to say that this cannabis was tested on this date. That record exists forever.”
The company expects to collaborate with other suppliers in Canada such as Aurora Cannabis Inc (ACB.TO), Tilray Inc (TLRY), and Aphria Inc (APHA.TO) to mitigate consumer skepticism towards medical cannabis.
Blockchain technology has witnessed increased adoption in the medical industry, primarily to boost supply-chain applications. The industry is seeking for a transparent, secure and robust healthcare solution to secure medical supply chains and healthcare data. Many major pharmacies are exploring blockchain to procure these aspects. About a year ago, the Good Shepherd Pharmacy incorporated blockchain technology to distribute cancer medicines to the patients.
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