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IBM tapped for FDA blockchain pilot program on prescription tracking


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recruited IBM to be part of a new pilot program that will determine the requirements of a blockchain network that can identify, track and trace prescription medicines and vaccines distributed across the country.

The program, which supports the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act, is seeking to reduce the time needed to track and trace inventory while strengthening the integrity of the distribution chain. Armonk-based IBM will collaborate with KPMG, Merck and Walmart on this pilot program, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

“Blockchain could provide an important new approach to further improving trust in the biopharmaceutical supply chain,” said Mark Treshock, IBM’s global solutions leader for blockchain in health care and life sciences. “We believe this is an ideal use for the technology because it cannot only provide an audit trail that tracks drugs within the supply chain; it can track who has shared data and with whom, without revealing the data itself. Blockchain has the potential to transform how pharmaceutical data is controlled, managed, shared and acted upon throughout the lifetime history of a drug.”

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