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FDA Selects IBM, KPMG, Merck And Walmart To Explore Blockchain Use

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) selected four industry heavyweights to partner it in its program to explore the use of blockchain in tracing and verification of prescription products in the U.S. IBM, KPMG, Merck and Walmart will assist the regulator in its pilot program, which supports the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

The DSCSA, which was enacted by Congress in November 2013, outlines steps to build an electronic, interoperable system to identify, track and trace certain prescription medicines and vaccines distributed within the U.S.

The pilot program intends to help identify and evaluate the latest and efficient processes that applies drug supply chain security requirements. The companies will help create a shared permissioned blockchain network that allows real-time monitoring of products.

The blockchain network will enable accurate data sharing among network members, with reduction of time in tracking and tracing inventory as well as timely retrieval of distribution information.

The project is scheduled to be completed in fourth quarter of 2019. The system for the pharma industry is set to go into effect in 2023.

Walmart also recently joined MediLedger, a blockchain-based pharmaceutical consortium, to track prescription drugs.

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