One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer Inc., has joined with Chronicled’s MediLedger Project Contracting and Chargebacks working group to find a blockchain-based solution to the inefficiencies currently found within the industry’s supply chain pricing and eligibility contracts.
The working group also includes other leading life sciences and healthcare companies such as McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp, and Premier Inc.
Traditionally, a complicated pricing chargeback framework operates within the industry where a manufacturer’s drugs are sold to wholesalers, then purchased by buying groups and in turn sold onto consumers. This lengthy supply and payment line involves multiple transactions and can involve insurers and government agencies as treatment may fall under insurance and medical assistance programs which can result in a chargeback being made against those earlier in the chain.
MediLedger intends to eliminate the payment failures and friction between the different parties that exist within this system by implementing a unifying blockchain network that automates contract reconciliation and chargeback processes.
The network is scheduled to go live in Q2 2019 and is reported to have established a protocol for saleable return drug verification that meets the current Drug Supply Chain Act (DSCA) regulations. Features include item lifecycle management and change of ownership transactions. It is suggested that this will reduce errors, enable more efficient co-operations and lower the cost of patient care.
The company behind MediLedger, Chronicled, are a San Francisco software technology company that specialises in building decentralised network architecture that facilitates multi-party supply chain ecosystems. They are a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and were named last year as the city’s Best Tech Company, following in the footsteps of Google and Twitter.
Although operating an open protocol available to anyone within the pharmaceutical industry, MediLedger’s user data is kept behind a firewall and only shared with trading partners when specified by the individual company. However, there is no central repository of data and Chronicled’s CEO Susanne Somerville says “This is what makes the project so special. It’s decentralised, and the data is private. Even though Chronicled is providing the technology, industry users operate the software themselves.”
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