Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. They operate a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. Medileger is, on the other hand, an Open and Decentralized Network for the Pharmaceutical Supply; they provide pharma companies with blockchain solutions. Walmart which has a Pharmaceutical service department has joined Mediledger in building a blockchain for tracking the provenance of pharmaceuticals. A spokeswoman for Walmart, their participation is confirmed.
The IBM food trust is another blockchain project that the multinational retailer is involved in prior to now; the system tracks fresh produce through the supply chain that’s built on the Hyperledger Fabric platform. Walmart’s leafy green suppliers are compelled to integrate the IBM blockchain and this possibly brings similar supply-chain clout to MediLedger, whose members already include the three largest pharmaceutical wholesalers, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health as well as pharmaceutical manufacturers such as Pfizer. Their move into the blockchain space has deepened by this new development.
Drawn from the company’s annual report, a category called Health and wellness accounted for $35 billion of Walmart’s U.S. sales in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 which is ten percent of the total. The category includes a pharmacy and over-the-counter drugs. The consortium is in the leadership of the San Francisco-based Mediledger that had earlier in the year closed a $16 million funding. It is interesting to note that Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States according to research with about 2,300,000 employees.
MediLedger prepares to kick off this pilot project with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early June with Walmart on board. They will use an enterprise version of the ethereum blockchain, unlike Food Trust. It is built with a modified version of the Parity client and a consensus mechanism called proof of authority
Initially, MediLedger’s focus was on the verification of drugs that are returned to be resold but legislation to help prevent fraudulent products being resold does not come into play till November of this year. According to a statement from co-lead of MediLedger Eric Garvin, the agency is testing various approaches to creating an interoperable, digitized system for tracking and verifying prescription drugs, something Congress has mandated it deliver by 2023.
The team will soon start work on the more broad-ranging tracking of all pharma products which is the deal at hand. it will involve interoperable data and packaging serialization.
Credits – Ian Allison
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