IBM announced that it is partnering with KPMG, Walmart, and Merck to build a blockchain pilot for drug supply management. The four firms are collaborating to come up with a solution to help auditors track certain drugs in the entire drug supply cycle. IBM, being the tech-savvy company is the technology partner. KPMG, on the other hand, would bring its intensive knowledge and understanding of the compliance matters to the table. Merck has an obvious role to play as it is a pharmaceutical behemoth and Walmart will act as a drug distributor through its pharmacies and clinics.
The idea of the blockchain pilot is to provide each drug package with a unique identifier that can be used to track it through each point in the supply chain: manufacturer, pharmacy, and consumer. It isn’t as simple as it sounds as companies despise to share any data with each other. Here, blockchain comes into the play as it would provide an impregnable record of each transaction during the drug supply. This would give authorities an easy audit trail. The main goal is to ensure better compliance in the drug industry as per the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act. DSCSA Pilot Project Program by FDA aims to help drug supply chain stakeholders in developing a system that will track certain prescription drugs within the country.
“The network would have the ability to exchange information about these pharmaceutical shipments in a way that ensures privacy, but that is validated,”said Mark Treshock, global blockchain solutions leader for healthcare and life sciences at IBM.