Walmart, IBM, Merck and KPMG were named by the US Food and Drug Administration to test a blockchain-based solution for identifying, tracking and tracing prescription drugs and vaccines distributed in the United States.
Karim Bennis, Walmart VP Strategic planning and implementation for health and wellness:
“With successful blockchain pilots in pork, mangoes and leafy greens that provide enhanced traceability, we are looking forward to the same success and transparency in the biopharmaceutical supply chain.”
The plans is for IBM, Walmart, Merck and KPMG to develop a shared, permissioned blockchain network that allows real-time monitoring of drugs.
The network would enable:
- faster tracking and tracing of inventory;
- timely retrieval of reliable distribution data;
- more accurate information shared among members;
- more transparency for the integrity of products in the supply chain, including whether medicines are kept at the correct temperature.
Mark Treshock, leader for blockchain in health care and life sciences at IBM Global Solutions:
“Blockchain could provide an important new approach to further improving trust in the biopharmaceutical supply chain.”
The pilot is to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019, with results to be published in an FDA DSCSA program report.