The VP of Business Development at Shoppers Drug Mart said they are partnering with TruTrace Technologies to pilot a blockchain-based ledger to track the quality of medical cannabis. The pharmacy chain has over 1,300 locations in Canada.
Supply-side logistics is one area where blockchain tech shows definite promise. It is especially pertinent to medicine since each product needs to be accurately sourced to ensure it’s safety. Now, according to a recent statement by the VP of Business Development, Shoppers Drug Mart plans to pilot this emerging technology to track its medical cannabis stock.
Ken Weisbrod told reporters that medical cannabis is one sector where transparent oversight is desperately needed. Patients expect standardization this is in line with consistent clinical outcomes. That’s where blockchain technology comes in. The massive Canadian chain plans to leverage it and thus show its competitors that it can definitively cut costs.
Shoppers Drug Market Corporation currently runs some 1,300 stores in Canada and has $12.4B in cash and stock. It is the largest pharmacy chain in the country.
Canada — The Poster Child
Weisbord stressed that, if successful, the pilot blockchain could serve as an important stepping stone for other retail chains to also pursue similar advancements.
TruTrace, the company Shoppers Drug Market is partnering with, also sees big potential in the US CBD market as well. Many CBD products have been found to contain less cannabidiol than advertised. According to TruTrace Chief Executive Officer Robert Galarza, “there’s skepticism right now from the medical industry and we’re trying to help breach that; it all boils down to information. Information is power, data is power.”
Galarza says that, if the pilot is successful, there is no reason to believe that CVS and Walgreens wouldn’t want to adopt the same technology for their supply-side.
We would like to believe that medication is properly sourced, but in today’s complex network of suppliers, it’s not always so easy.
With a transparent, distributed ledger system, pharmacies can promise consumers that they are getting exactly what they paid for. It would be a massive win for safety. That’s partly why the FDA has also been exploring blockchain technology, recently announcing its own pilot program as well.
Shoppers Drug Market plans to complete its pilot program by the end of July. By late November, the company says it will be ‘fully implemented.’
Do you that blockchain’s most obvious use-case is on the supply-side of businesses? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.