Blockchain busy American multinational retail corporation Walmart Inc has announced it wants to expand its new tech footprint by developing a proof-of-concept blockchain for identifying and tracking prescription drugs.
Working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) IBM, Merck and KPMG, the retailing giant is joining a pilot aimed at improving the tracking and authentication of prescription drugs, to ensure the supply chain remains free from counterfeit medication.
The move by Walmart was in response to a statement made by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb back in February of this year when he called for submissions from companies to join the DSCSA Pilot Project Program. He commented at the time:
“Using new innovations, we believe we can improve the overall security of our closed system and improve our ability to prevent the introduction of illegitimate products, better detect the introduction of illegitimate products, and enable stakeholders and the FDA to respond more rapidly when such products are found.”
In June, Merck, Walmart, KPMG, and IBM heeded the call and agreed to work together on the FDA trial using developing blockchain technologies. When one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Merck, were asked why they agree to join the pilot program they responded that:
“A permissioned blockchain network has the potential to create greater transparency, reduce the time needed to track and trace inventory, help determine the integrity of products (such as whether they are kept at the correct temperature), prevent and remove counterfeit drugs, and more.”
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