Walmart is reportedly planning to roll out a pilot project to track pharmaceutical products using MediLedger technology with the United States Food and Drug Administration in early June.
By joining the consortium, Walmart has followed four major American pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer Inc., which joined MediLedger in early May, to collaborate on the development of a blockchain network for the health and pharmaceutical industry.
Pfizer, along with McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation and Premier Inc. officially announced that they joined the MediLedger Project Contracting and Chargebacks working group on May 2.
The MediLedger project was initiated by San Francisco-based blockchain tech firm Chronicled to develop a system for trusted data sharing within pharmaceutical product supply chains. The blockchain-based project purportedly strives to automate processes like contract reconciliation, eliminating the associated costs.
Walmart, a $220 billion retail giant, is one of the early adopters of blockchain technology in the industry, having implemented the tech along with IBM in 2016 to identify and eliminate recalled foods from its product lists.
Since then, the U.S.-based retail company has conducted a number of blockchain-related initiatives, including patenting blockchain applications.
The global retail giant applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to acquire a patent of blockchain-powered product delivery system implementing autonomous electronic devices including drones and autonomous robots in 2018.
Recently, a senior executive at Pfizer argued that the major obstacle for global adoption of blockchain applications is not caused by technology issues such as blockchain’s much-discussed scalability problem. Instead, the main hurdle is that business competitors have to solve the issue of sharing infrastructure and governance, the executive stressed.