FDA chooses Walmart for pharmaceutical supply chain pilot

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FDA chooses Walmart for pharmaceutical supply chain pilot

Walmart will be helping the FDA test new technology that tracks prescription medications.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart will be helping the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test the effectiveness of a leading-edge technology in tracking and tracing prescription medicines and vaccines distributed within the U.S.

That company announced that it was selected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with consulting firm KPMG, and pharmaceutical company Merck, to be included in a program in support of the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). The pilot is intended to assist drug supply chain stakeholders, including FDA, in developing an electronic, interoperable system that will identify and trace certain prescription drugs as they are distributed within the country.

The project is intended to create a shared permissioned blockchain network that allows real-time monitoring of products. The proposed network is intended to help reduce the time needed to track and trace inventory; allow timely retrieval of reliable distribution information; increase accuracy of data shared among network members; and help determine the integrity of products in the distribution chain, including whether products are kept at the correct temperature.

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,” said Karim Bennis, Walmart’s VP of strategic planning and implementation, health and wellness. “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.”

The pilot project is scheduled to be completed within the fourth quarter of 2019, and results are expected to be published in an FDA DSCSA program report. At that time, the project’s participants will evaluate next steps.

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