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Pfizer, Premier and others join Chronicled’s blockchain-focused working group

Mon, 06 May 2019, 07:27 am UTC

A number of life sciences and healthcare companies have joined a working group focused on using blockchain technology for improving the convoluted process of chargebacks.

Pfizer, McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and Premier have joined Chronicled’s MediLedger Project Contracting and Chargebacks working group.

Founded in 2014, Chronicled is a San Francisco-based company that leverages blockchain to bring trust, efficiency, and automation to global supply chains.

Earlier this year, the startup raised $16 million in a Series A funding round led by Mandra Capital, a Hong Kong-based VC firm. It said at the time that it was piloting MediLedger, a pharmaceutical industry network, with a group of major companies and is on track to go live by Q2 2019.

Effective November 27th, 2019, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry will be bound by new regulations set out by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). In compliance with the new rules, MediLedger has established a protocol for saleable return drug verification, which will be ready for commercial use and integration later this year. The Contracting and Chargebacks marks the second solution available in the network.

Currently, pharmaceutical industries sell medicines via wholesale distributors but pricing and eligibility contracts are negotiated separately. Forbes explained that these drugs are then potentially purchased by buying groups and ultimately by consumers. With multiple parties involved in the process, sharing of information across becomes difficult, leading to a chargeback.

Chronicled is now designing a protocol to improve the process. MediLedger's protocol will aim to eliminate friction by connecting the disparate parties on a common network and automating the contract reconciliation and chargeback processes, the release said.

Working group participants expect that this will help reduce costly errors, enable healthcare participants to operate more efficiently, and lower the cost of patient care.

"This innovative approach has the potential to transform how chargebacks work for the industry, allowing us to deliver better services to our members," said Bill Marquardt, Vice President of Product Strategy and Planning for Premier Inc. "We are excited to collaborate with our partners to deliver these improvements."

The protocol’s design phase is currently underway and the testing phase is expected to start in Q3 2019.

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