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Blockchain used in pharma supply chain

BEIJING: April 11, 2017. IBM and China-based supply chain manager Sichuan Hejia have launched the 'Yijian Blockchain Technology Application System', a supply chain financial services platform to purchase and pay for pharmaceuticals.

A pharma retailer, Heija, a hospital and a bank are using the system in order to help improve the efficiency, transparency and operation of supply chain finance.

Hejia said it will expand the platform in July to include multiple pharmaceutical retailers, hospitals and banks to help Chinese SME pharma retailers raise finance due to an underdeveloped credit system and a lack of established credit evaluation and risk control.

IBM BlockchainCurrently it can take 60-90 days for retailers to get paid by hospitals.

Working with IBM, Hejia has now set up a blockchain-based business network for the three supply chain participants to help reduce the turnover time of funds and allow banks to provide funding for SMEs.

By tracking drugs through the supply chain and encrypting trading records, the transparency of the blockchain can help establish the authenticity of the transaction, lower the credit risk and allow payment within 48 hours, said Heija.

"The launch of the supply chain financial services platform marks a milestone for the cooperation between Hejia and IBM on the innovative application of blockchain technology," said Board chairman Leng Tianhui.

"In the future, the platform will expand to include more industries to provide participating companies and financial institutions with transparent and efficient financing services built on blockchain-based innovation in a business model that will contribute to China's economic development," he continued.

Gregor Pillen, IBM Greater China Group Global Business Services managing partner said his company had helped Hejia by providing insights from analyzing the supply chain finance industry, and the financing conditions facing pharma retailers.

IBM is an early member of the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project to support the development of openly governed blockchains and has since worked with companies in financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare.
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