FDA Advised To Adopt Blockchain Technology For Drug Tracking

The U.S. FDA might be closer to adoptiing blockchain technology in its fight against counterfeit drugs based on a new report.
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MediLedger, a blockchain-powered network tailored for the pharmaceutical industry has released a report stating that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could benefit from blockchain adoption in the fight against counterfeit drugs.

MediLegder Network Could Revolutionize FDA Drug Tracking

According to a report published by MediLegder an FDA-approved Pilot Project, blockchain technology adoption could boost the agency’s ability to trace and track prescription medication across the United States.

MediLegder, established in June 2019, is part of the FDA’s move to ensure compliance with the Drug Supply Chain and Security Act (DSCSA) expected to be fully implemented by 2023. The act requires stakeholders in the industry to track legal changes in ownership of pharmaceuticals in the supply chain.

According to the report, MediLegder’s blockchain network could aid organizations to keep accurate records of legally purchased prescribed medication and generally provide better healthcare services for patients. An excerpt from the report reads:

“It is the workgroup’s belief that, in the absence of a central point of data sharing as other countries have chosen to implement, the US supply chain will suffer as companies struggle with keeping data accurately and completely shared across a wide variety of partners, systems and technical formats. This means that in the event of a significant public health crisis, stakeholders and agents will struggle to locate and quarantine suspect product in a timely manner, continuing to put patients’ lives at stake.”

Also, the report revealed that the medical industry can achieve full data privacy compliance and avoid the leak of confidential information by adopting zero-knowledge proof technology powered by MediLedger’s blockchain network. However, the long-term success of an interoperable pharmaceutical blockchain solution is dependent on strong participation and adoption from all industry stakeholders, per the report.

Blockchain Adoption in Provenance and SCM

MediLedger’s blockchain network is developed and administrated by Chronicled, a San Fransisco-based technology company. After receiving approval to run a pilot project in 2019, the company began collaborating with major organizations in the pharmaceutical supply chain to test out the blockchain network’s potential to aid the FDA in enforcing DSCSA compliance.

The pilot project comprised a workgroup of 25 leading companies such as multinational pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer, channel and contract management firm Genentech, drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen, and multinational retail corporation Walmart to name a few.

Commenting on the progress of the project, CEO of Chronicled, Sussane Somerville remarked:

“We are very pleased that companies across the industry joined Chronicled in the MediLedger FDA Pilot Project. We were able to show that a blockchain solution is feasible to meet the 2023 DSCSA requirements and are privileged to take part in making the US drug supply chain safer for patients.”

According to Sommerville, the project was established on three core technologies: zero-knowledge to facilitate privacy for messaging and transfer of data, a blockchain ledger for shared transaction verification and smart contract execution, and a private messaging system to provide interaction between clients and trading partners in the supply chain.

Representatives from Genentech and Pfizer said the project has demonstrated a widespread industry commitment to developing an interoperable system that aids the FDA to achieve full DSCSA compliance.

Apart from the pharmaceutical industry, other blockchain pilots are looking at utilizing technology in areas such as Provenance and Supply Chain Management (SCM). As previously reported by Blockonomi in January 2019, Carico Café Connoisseur, a Ugandan-based coffee firm announced the utilization of blockchain technology to track goods along its supply chain.

Back in December 2018, TEMCO, an SCM platform unveiled a partnership with bitcoin blockchain developer Rootstock. The pair promised to provide a supply chain solution capable of connecting isolated supply chain systems and offering real-time tracking data to clients.

In January 2019, Havard University revealed its collaboration with The Levi Strauss Company and the New America think tank to develop a blockchain-based platform that could potentially replace external factory health and safety auditors.

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Osato is a Bitcoin enthusiast who can often be found providing insight on the latest Bitcoin-related news. When he isn't closely monitoring stories in the industry, he is either attempting to beat his scrabble high score or internally debating some existential dilemma. Contact

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