Blockchain Consortium MediLedger Welcomes Retail Giant Walmart for Tracking Pharmaceuticals

  • Walmart joins the pharmaceutical blockchain consortium called MediLedger
  • The main goal is to have an enhanced pharmaceutical sector

The retail giant Walmart announced it is joining the pharmaceutical-tracking blockchain consortium MediLedger. The consortium is currently building a blockchain that will be tracking the provenance of pharmaceuticals. The information was released by a spokeswoman for Walmart during a conversation with CoinDesk.

Walmart Joins Blockchain Pharmaceutical Consortium

Blockchain technology continues to receive good news from different companies. This time, Walmart decided to join MediLedger, which is in charge of creating a blockchain that will track the provenance of pharmaceuticals.

This shows that Walmart is involved in blockchain technology and that it wants to improve its services for users. At the same time, this retailer participates in other programs related to blockchain technology such as the IBM Food Trust. This is a system that tracks fresh produce through the supply chain and it is built on top of the Hyperledger Fabric platform.

According to the annual report that the company released, the “Health and wellness” category that includes pharmacy and other over-the-counter drugs, accounted for $35 billion of Walmart’s U.S. sales. This is equal to 10% of its total revenue. Improving this sector is also going to bring overall efficiency up.

At the moment, MediLedger is using an Ethereum-based enterprise blockchain that was built on top of the Parity client. It also uses a consensus mechanism called proof of authority. MediLedger wants to launch a pilot project alongside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as this month. The organization wants to create an interoperable, digitized system for tracking and verifying prescription drugs.

The United States has a very large privatized health care, indeed, it is the largest privatized in the world. This resulted in the fragmentation of siloed databases, which creates a good environment for decentralized solutions.

During a conversation with CoinDesk, Eric Garvin, the co-lead of MediLedger, mentioned that nodes are distributed and operated by industry participants and technology providers. The data privacy is addressed using zero-knowledge proofs. This allows data to be confirmed correctly but without revealing which is that data.

Meanwhile, Maria Palombini, director of communities and initiatives development for emerging technology at the IEEE Standards Association, commented:

“They have to try and figure out a way to share this data and give far more visibility into the inventory, but also now the retailers are going to have to give data back which they have never really been required to do.”

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