There is a blood group so rare that only about 40 people in the whole world have it – the golden blood. The blood group, also called RH-null is so called because it has zero of all the possible 61 antigens in the Rh system.
MediConnect is the golden blood of blockchain solutions in the UK dedicated to make the pharma world better. It is certainly accomplishing a feat many blockchain solutions can only wish for. The solution is intended to revolutionize the use of medication in the UK. As an only one of its kind, the ‘already in testing’ solution will solve real-world problems and immediately after launch will have real-world uses.
The problems in the pharmaceutical industry
One of the biggest concerns of all time in the pharmaceutical industry has been how the players can continue to improve the care standards without compromising value. The UK has an excellent science base but there are still challenges regarding the use of medicine across the supply chain.
Prescription medication overuse has continued to increase over the years. This owes to the fact that there are still no control mechanisms that can prevent patients from buying medication, which has actually been prescribed from many places, more so in the private sector. As it stands, a patient can get a prescription for the same medicine from a pharmacy, online or otherwise, and from their regular doctor.
Secondly, there lacks governance on the pharmaceutical supply chain so that counterfeit drugs become available easily. The patient is in no position to determine which medication is legit and which one is not. In 2007, the Casodex, Zyprexa, and Plavix scandal led the MHRA (Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency) to seize more than 40 000 packs of counterfeit medicine before they reached different pharmacies. There were still about 25 000 packs that were supplied across the UK that of course, reached patients. After the recall of the medication, an additional 7 000 packs were found out.
MediConnect claims the ability to solve these problems.
How it all started
The scandal is one of many examples that fueled the formation of MediConnect. At the beginning of 2018, unable to bear watching the effects of medication oversupply through private routes and NHS, three pharmacies came together and birthed the idea behind MediConnect. The question they tried to answer was how they could stop patients from buying the same medication from many offline and online pharmacies.
The underlying question was, of course, one about data sharing that would enable medication to be flagged on record. Would this help towards curbing the growing problem of addiction and drug dependency?
The pharmacies approached the MHRA and discussed the possibility of a shared database where the probability of overprescribing would be zero. The journey led the pharmacies to further conversations with Public Health England and CQC and eventually collaboration between the partners to form MediConnect.
The solution you have been waiting for
The blockchain solution will help to prevent overprescribing, therefore, contributing to the decrease in addiction cases. It will offer the ability to trace drugs across the supply chain from the manufacturer all the way to the patient. It will also help to eliminate the possibility of supplying fake medicines and make it easy to recall drugs within the system.
The current system is only effective in recalling drugs from the manufacturer to the wholesaler and sometimes the pharmacy, however, the link ends there. Patient traceability is logistically impossible without MediConnect.
How it works
With MediConnect, every one of the players in the supply chain has a role to play.
The manufacturer creates serial codes for their drug and registers them on the blockchain. They are responsible for issuing drug recalls and passing warnings down the chain. If there is any counterfeit drug that makes it to the chain, it is their job to launch investigations to determine the source. To do this effectively, the manufacturer must expect that the players on the supply chain be transparent and must track traceability of their drugs.
Between the manufacturer and the wholesaler, there is a logistics company. Their job is to track product ownership from the manufacturer and to the online pharmacies and wholesalers. They will be expected to provide quality assurance for all items that they track and to maintain documentation.
The wholesaler gets to monitor the distribution of drugs in their network. This way, they can identify any potential counterfeit sources.
The person who prescribes the medicine must make sure to keep all their patient records up to date. This list is provided to all providers. However, it is the prescriber who records the prescription on the blockchain.
The pharmacy’s job is to reduce fraud prescriptions by making sure everything they sell is prescribed by qualified professionals. The authorized prescriptions will, therefore, be issued on the platform. It helps if the pharmacy cultivates a healthy relationship with everyone else in the supply chain that they interact with. That way, they can track things like the status of drug consignments.
Finally, the patient will be able to buy their prescription from a pharmacy of their choosing. Since their prescription records will be accessible from anywhere by all healthcare professionals in the blockchain, they will not be able to overuse drugs. The professionals get to determine the suitability for supply with access to your medical history. The patient will be able to scan using their phones for verification, false medicine and health warnings. The mobile application will also notify them should there be any drug recalls.
The golden blood in the industry
Like a rare gem or the rare blood group, MediConnect’s existence is an anomaly. However, it is not the only thing that commends it to the industry as a valuable asset. Unlike the blood group, it will not be dangerous for people living with it.
All the players in the industry are guaranteed of a safety net.
With all the bodies involved in regulation all over the sector noticing the need for a solution for over-prescribing, MediConnect will offer a valuable solution that works almost instantaneously. Prescribers will be sure that potential addicts are eliminated. Patients will be assured that they are getting genuine medicine from licensed manufacturers. Simply put, with MediConnect, everyone wins.