Blockchain Becomes Focal Point With Walmart Partnering With IBM And KPMG On Drug Tracking
Blockchain: Walmart Partners IBM And KPMG On Drug Tracking
Foremost retail outlet Walmart is pulling all the strings in other to breakthrough into the pharmaceutical sector. The retail giant announced on Thursday, June 13, that it will be collaborating with technology giant IBM, KPMG and drugmaker Merck in drug participation pilot.
The big announcement by the company is the second pilot involving Walmart in as many weeks, and it adds yet another flavour of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to the drug-tracking use case.
The diversification of Walmart into the pharmaceutical sector has been taking shape for a while now. The company last week participated in the Mediledger consortium, which included pharmaceuticals giants like Pfizer and pharmaceutical wholesalers like Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen.
Pharmaceutical retailers are gradually getting comfortable with blockchain technology. Several media outlets last week reported that Target is participating in a Hyperledger supply chain tracking project called Grid, while the firm is also developing its own blockchain project, known as ConsenSource.
Distributed Ledger Technology
Walmart is already a firm believer in the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), as it’s one of the few prominent companies to adopt the technology, as a participant in IBM’s Food trust.
The system is now out of the testing stage, and it’s currently being used to track the movement of foods, especially fruits and vegetable from the farm to the point of sale.
Commenting on the pilot and its wide-ranging prospects, Walmart’s spokeswoman, Marilee Mclnnis stated that:
“We are learning, which is the point of these pilots, but our ultimate goal, through both is to create a safer, more transparent supply chain for our teeming customers.”
DLT is fast gaining traction across the globe.The United States Food and Drug Administration is on the verge of completing its approval of platforms for inclusion in a government-mandated pilot program.
Transparency and accountability are some of the missing ingredients in the food and drug sector of the economy. Karim Bennis, Walmart’s vice president of Strategic Planning and Implementation stated that:
“With successful blockchain pilots in pork, mangoes and leafy greens that provide enhance traceability, we are looking forward to the same success and transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain.”
Furthermore, the Walmart executive continued, saying:
“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 be able to trust us to help ensure that their product is safe and secure.”
Blockchain technology is gradually becoming a household name in the pharmaceutical industry. Bitcoinexchangeguide reported earlier in the year that Pharmaceutical company Merck received a blockchain potent from the U.S Patent and trademark office.
The German company has created a system that combines blockchain technology alongside Artificial intelligence. The German firm is aiming to use both technologies to establish the authenticity of unique physical objects.
The pharmaceutical sector is joining its colleagues in the financial sector, hospitality industry, education and others to embrace the blockchain technology.