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DHL and Accenture Sign Agreement Develop Blockchain Prototype
As per Interpol, around 30% of pharmaceutical products in emerging markets are counterfeit, causing one (1) million deaths every year. To counter this, DHL and Accenture have partnered and created a Blockchain based supply chain solution. In first of its kind, both the companies have developed a blockchain based serialization prototype with nodes in six (6) geographies to track pharmaceuticals across the supply chain. In a joint press release, the two companies revealed that the tamper proof solution tracks the medications from the factory, through all intermediaries and right to the patient’s hands.
As per ‘Andreas Baier’, Accenture team leader:
“Using a common, indelible and secure ledger, the industry can achieve much higher safety standards – from the factory to the patient – at much lower cost. This is one of several opportunities blockchain affords to restructure business processes while reducing cost and complexity.”
“We see especially exciting potential for blockchain in pharmaceuticals, which is why we focused our proof of concept with Accenture on the life sciences and healthcare industry. By utilizing the inherent irrefutability within blockchain technologies, we can make great strides in highlighting tampering, reducing the risk of counterfeits and actually saving lives.”
-Keith Turner, CIO of DHL Supply Chain
On the solution part, Lab tests have indicated that the prototype can be scaled up-to 1500 transactions per second, and can handle more than 7 billion unique serial numbers.
Other companies in Supply Chain
DHL & Accenture are not the first companies which have taken strides to counter supply chain problems using blockchain technology. Maersk, the world's largest global shipping company partnered with IBM to move global shipping onto a blockchain system. FedEx is one of the founding members of the Blockchain In Transport Alliance (BiTA), and is currently working on setting up and formalizing industry standards to "transform the logistics industry."
Future of Blockchain in Supply Chain Industry
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), global spending on blockchain solutions is forecast to reach $2.1bn in 2018, more than double the $945mn spent in 2017. In 2021 annual spending is expected to reach $9.7bn.