Update on a blog we wrote last year about the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) working with Merck, IBM, KPMG, and Walmart, in a pilot project aimed at evaluating the use of blockchain technology to protect the integrity of their drugs. The project, built on hyperledger fabric, was completed last December (2019). The goal of the project is to trace the journey of various vaccines and prescription medicines made by Merck from manufacture to delivery. Because the pharma supply chain is complex, given the number of entities, logistic providers and distributers – all using different systems, they fail to meet the DSCSA’s interoperability requirements. In the final report to the FDA, the partners in the pilot project agreed that blockchain could be their information bridge.

In the bigger picture, the FDA’s plan is to use a platform that can track and trace prescription medicines and vaccines distributed in the United States. The key benefits to such a platform would include: reducing the time needed to track and trace, improving access to reliable distribution information and ensuring products are handled appropriately and stored at the right temperature while being distributed.

IBM and Merck are examples of global leaders who are at the forefront of new technology and its applications. They can be found in Harvest ETF solutions. IBM is a component of the Harvest Tech Achievers Growth & Income ETF (TSX: HTA, HTA.U, HTA.B), and Merck is a component of the Harvest Healthcare Leaders Income ETF (TSX:HHL, HHL.U, HHL.B).

In the Harvest specialty Index ETF line up, the Blockchain Technologies ETF (TSX: HBLK) holds 20 stocks, as at May 29, 2020, exposed to the development and implementation of Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. The ETF has 22 holdings, 10 core large cap holdings with an average market capitalization of CAD $4.12 Billion and 12 dedicated holdings, as at May 29, 2020 with a management fee of 0.65%.

For more information about Harvest ETFs click here.

The views and/or opinions expressed in the blog are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Blog contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision.