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IBM has announced that it is working with KPMG, Merk and Walmart to create a blockchain pilot for the supply chain for medicines. The four companies want to work together to create a solution to follow certain medications as they move through the supply chain.

IBM is the technology partner in this case. KPMG comes up with an expertise in compliance issues, Merk is a medication company and Walmart is the distributor of the medication via pharmacies, writes TechCrunch.

The aim is to give each pack of medication a unique identifier, which can be tracked in the supply chain from manufacturer to pharmacy to consumer. However, many companies do not want to share data with each other, which makes this more difficult than it might sound. The blockchain must provide an irrefutable record of each transaction as the drug moves through the supply chain. This gives authorities and participants a simple audit trail.


The pilot is part of a set of programmes carried out by various shareholders at the request of the FDA. The ultimate goal of these programs is to find solutions to comply with the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act. Specifically, it concerns the development of electronic, interoperable systems that identify and track certain prescription medications when they are distributed in the United States.

IBM hopes that the blockchain pilot will demonstrate that the company can build a blockchain platform or network on which other companies can put applications again. “In this case, the network would be able to exchange information about these pharmaceutical shipments in such a way that privacy is guaranteed, but the information is also validated,” says Mark Treshock, global blockchain solutions leader for healthcare and life sciences at IBM.

According to Treshock, this should get companies that are concerned about the privacy of their information to join in. This is something that is of particular concern to pharmaceutical companies.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.