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Commissioner Suggests Using Blockchain for New Supply Chain Open Pilot

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Commissioner Suggests Using Blockchain for New Supply Chain Open Pilot

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner has suggested the use of blockchain for an open pilot scheme for the pharmaceuticals industry. The pilot focuses on improving supply chains and was announced in a notice published Feb. 8.

The Pilot Project Program Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA Pilot Project Program) is aimed at ingratiating industry players with emerging innovative technologies and will also accept applications through 11th of March.

This move is an initial step towards the development of a digital supply chain platform that is specifically geared to tracking drugs and preventing counterfeiting, set to operate from 2023. While not confirmed, analogues of such supply chain platforms leverage blockchain technology to improve conventional systems.

FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb commented on the development saying:

“We’re invested in exploring new ways to improve traceability, in some cases using the same technologies that can enhance drug supply chain security, like the use of blockchain.”

“Enhanced verification and tracing in the supply chain can translate to a more rapid response by industry and the FDA when an illegitimate product is found,” the press release added.

The FDA did not mention the desired size or scope of the pilot, nor hint at which specific industry participants, if any, had already expressed interest.

Throughout the world, supply chains for a large number of major industries are seeing similar treatment, with some already benefitting from dedicated platforms such as IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens, which launched in August 2018.


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