The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has introduced its new Blockchain Pilot Program, which will allow the agency to track a prescribed medication from the time the drug is developed to when it is delivered to the patient. This will allow the FDA to monitor and address quality control issues within the pharmaceutical industry.

How the Blockchain Was Created

The FDA selected four companies to collaborate on the Blockchain Pilot Program: Merck (biopharmaceutical company with blockchain experience), KPMG (accounting firm), Walmart (pharmaceutical supply chain expertise), and IBM (providing its cloud-based Blockchain platform). 

Each company brings its own unique and unmatched technical attributes to the project to ensure its advancement. If the program is successful, it will result in a verifiable pharmaceutical supply chain that will improve reliability and give confidence to both patients and stakeholders. 

Potential Setbacks

Some technical limitations could arise from the Blockchain Pilot Program. The FDA anticipates that as the Blockchain grows larger, the supply chain will operate more slowly and thus require more money and manpower to keep it running smoothly. Another concern is data storage, as cataloging patient prescription information will require a large ledger.

A Good Starting Point

The program isn’t said to be completed until the last quarter of 2019. Although results aren’t guaranteed, the FDA is hopeful that the program will be successful. The agency will work with industry leaders to improve the program, apply the best strategies, and implement the next steps toward the program’s technological advancement. 

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