With these partnerships, MediConnect have taken an important step towards their goal of making the MediConnect blockchain solution the gold standard for UK pharmacies.
Combating addiction and abuse of prescription drugs
MediConnect has announced that they are working with The Addiction Safeguarding Committee (ASC) and British Business Federation Authority (BBFA). The goal of this collaboration is to onboard local pharmacies and prescribers with the aim of preventing the overprescription of prescription drugs. This can lead to addiction and drug abuse and with no solution in place to tackle this problem lives will continue to be affected.
The ASC, based out of the East Midlands, will be piloting the use of MediConnect’s blockchain-based platform to tackle prescription-drug addiction and dependency. Professor Hunt, from the ASC, commented: “We are really excited to be working with local pharmacies and prescribers in the East Midlands from early 2019.”
“Two online pharmacies have joined already and once we have 10, it will enable us to run a feasibility trial to demonstrate the use of a blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the real world,” adding: “This blockchain trial will enable all pharmacies and prescribers who join to have their patient records flagged to prevent multiple prescriptions being dispensed to the same patient – essentially a block on any attempt to prescribe the same drug to the same patient when they don’t need it.”
Providing a gold standard for the drug prescription industry, regulation
MediConnect is also a member of the BBFA, which has been tasked with organising and managing a number of community-specific, collaborative (industry, government, regulators & academia) working groups to support Lord Holmes’ report on DLT for Public Good and his call to action. BBFA has some 23 collaborative working groups operating or starting shortly, including the BBFA Prescription Drug Addiction Working Group (PDA WG).
All the major regulators have been invited to contribute to the PDA WG alongside relevant government experts. With their help, the PDA WG will develop the collaborative requirements based on legal, policy, technological and market drivers, simultaneously taking advantage of developments in the other collaborative WGs.
The human cost of outdated technology
An Evening Standard investigation on Opioid use in the U.K. found that about 200,000 people in the U.K. are said to be problem users. Hospital admissions involving overdoses have almost doubled in a decade with admissions to private detox centres up 30% in two years.
The investigation identifies the overuse of prescription painkiller medication as a “risk to lives and public health” on “the rising tide of dependence and addiction”. It further puts pressure on the regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), saying that “tackling opioid overprescribing has become a healthcare priority.”
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which is the independent regulator of health and social care in England, in a March 2018 report, “The state of care in independent online primary health services,” found that 43% of online prescribers were “not providing safe care” with some even shut down permanently or temporarily as a result. The report specifically mentions a failure to share information with the patient’s GP, among their criticisms.
The MediConnect solution
Using the Stratis Platform, a Blockchain as a Service platform, MediConnect are building distributed ledger technology to:
- Prevent the misuse and overprescribing of prescription drugs;
- Provide information that can assist clinicians and social care practitioners in preventing and reducing drug addiction;
- Establish drug provenance and traceability through all parts of the supply chain;
- Streamline the drug recall process, making it more responsive and efficient, thus reducing risk and cost.
MediConnect’s collaboration with the ASC, BBFA and brick-and-mortar and online pharmacies brings the prescription industry one step closer to achieving the technological wherewithal to effectively combat the growing problem of overprescription.
Mediconnect Director and spokesperson Dexter Blackstock announced: “We are delighted to support the industry from day one with our blockchain solution and look forward to seeing the ASC grow and more pharmacies and prescribers benefiting from our solution.”
You can find more details on MediConnect website.