Online pharmacy UK Meds has partnered with Stratis to implement blockchain technology across its UK operations with plans to collaborate with the broader online pharmacy industry.
UK Meds, which handles between 3,000 and 4,000 patient prescriptions digitally each day, will deploy Stratis’ blockchain technology with the purpose of improving patient safety across the online pharmacy sector, and reducing instances of patients ordering multiple prescriptions.
The new partnership will focus on putting all patients’ requests for a prescription on a shared and immutable distributed ledger across a group of UK online pharmacies to ensure that they only get access to prescribed quantities of medication.
A unique identifier will be assigned to each individual, allowing doctors dealing with online consultations and pharmacies preparing medication to cross reference patients. Any previous request for medication across all participating online pharmacies will be referenceable using Stratis’ technology.
The move comes at a time when online pharmacies in the UK, including UK Meds, are facing public backlash for a lack of proper checks, enabling people to easily get ahold of prescription medicines by creating multiple accounts, giving false information, and other stratagems.
According to the Guardian, a number of online pharmacies in the UK that are regulated and operating legally have no alert system in place to identify when someone makes multiple orders to the same address. The safeguarding loophole means people can order hundreds of tablets a month.
Joe Soiza, CEO at UK Meds, believes blockchain technology can solve this issue by providing a trusted and verifiable record of patient requests for medicine.
“Despite screening our own customers by IP addresses, phone numbers, cookies and many other factors, there isn’t a cross-industry solution to identify patients attempting to obtain multiple orders of drugs, with opioids being a particular example,” Soiza said.
“Clearly our entire industry needs to come together to ensure we do everything possible to protect the vulnerable and utilizing Stratis’ technology can help us achieve that.
“We are initiating this program, and we have over 10 online pharmacies onboard already. It’s our ambition for this to become the de facto standard across the entire UK industry.”
Stratis’ blockchain technology will also be used to improve UK Meds’ supply chain. In combination with track and trace logistics solutions, each shipment of medication will be logged onto a blockchain infrastructure when originally produced by the manufacturer, during points of distribution and again on arrival at UK Meds. This will allow to ensure that pharmaceutical shipments are correctly packed, arrive in fine condition and remain securely sealed in the correct quantity.
Founded in 2017, Stratis provides a blockchain development platform designed for the needs of companies and organizations that want to develop, test and deploy applications on the blockchain. Stratis blockchain apps can be developed in pure C# and can also utilize the Microsoft .NET framework.
Headquartered in the UK and incorporated as Stratis Group Ltd., the company operates in Asia, Europe and the Americas.