The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as per recent reports last week, has selected IBM, KPMG, Merck, and Walmart for a blockchain pilot program, in support of the US Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), to identify, track, and trace the US distribution of prescription medicines and vaccines.
The aim of the FDA pilot program is to leverage the blockchain tech to assist drug supply chain stakeholders, including FDA, in coming up with an electronic, interoperable system that being a medium identifies and traces the US distribution of certain prescription drugs. With the blockchain tech creating a permanent, undisputed distribution record, the system can be further integrated with the existing supply chain and traceability systems to track certain prescription drugs.
FDA’s decision to square in on IBM, KPMG, and Walmart, is backed by their extensive experience in implementation of blockchain solutions to enhance product safety and traceability. Moreover, with ongoing digital transformations, more and more customers are requesting detailed information about products.
The FDA pilot project is timed for completion in Q4 2019, following which the results of the project will be published in an FDA DSCSA program report. At that time, further steps to go ahead will be evaluated by the project’s participants.
“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” stated Karim Bennis, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Implementation, Health and Wellness at Walmart. “We believe we have to go further than offering great products that help our customers live better at everyday low prices. Our customers also need to know they can trust us to help ensure products are safe. This pilot and U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act requirements will help us do just that.”