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DHL and Accenture said the proof of concept allowed drugs to be tracked from manufacturer to consumer using blockchain’s verifiable distributed ledger technology — essentially a highly secure database.
Interpol figures show around 1m people die each year from counterfeit drugs, half of pharmaceutical products sold online are fake and up to 30 percent of medicines sold in emerging markets are bogus.
In a report DHL said the project involved “pharmaceutical serialisation,” in which each sealable medicine unit was assigned a unique serial number that was linked to the product’s origin, batch number and expiration date.
Serialisation allows a unit to be tracked at any stage of its life cycle, most importantly when units are repackaged or aggregated at the logistics stage and then disaggregated for consumption.
“The aim is to show that pharmaceutical products have come from legitimate manufacturers, are not counterfeit, and have been correctly handled throughout their journey from origin to consumer,” the report said.
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