An online pharmacy and doctor service UK Meds has partnered with a blockchain technology firm Stratis to improve patient safety and reduce instances of patients ordering multiple prescriptions. Each patient’s request for a prescription will be logged on to a shared and immutable distributed ledger across a group of UK online pharmacies, and the programme will ensure patients can only access prescribed quantities of medication.

Also, the doctors dealing with online consultations and pharmacies preparing medication will have the ability to cross-reference patients using a unique identifier assigned to each individual. Any previous request for medication across all online pharmacies in the programme will be easily referenceable using Stratis’ technology, ensuring patients receive correct prescriptions.

Joe Soiza, CEO at UK Meds said that despite screening its 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. He added that the entire industry needs to come together to ensure they do everything possible to protect the vulnerable and utilizing Stratis’ technology can help them achieve that.

Stratis’ technology will also be used to improve UK Meds’ own supply-chain by deploying Stratis’ Smart Contracts in C#, this is essentially code running on top of a blockchain enabling them to undertake specific tasks, at critical stages. In combination with track and trace logistics solutions, each shipment of medication will be logged on the blockchain when originally produced by the manufacturer, during points of distribution and again on arrival at UK Meds to certify pharmaceutical shipments are correctly packed, arrive in fine condition and remain securely sealed in the correct quantity.

Chris Trew, CEO at Stratis said:

"This is a great example of blockchain being deployed where its unique qualities will make a real difference. Using traditional IT solutions to solve this issue would require a significant expense and would undoubtedly be administered by a third-party organization. With blockchain, the industry can cooperate on the critical issue of patient safety using a shared version of the truth."

Earlier in July of this year, another pharmacy firm Good Shepherd partnered with the FedEx Institute of Technology to develop new blockchain-based infrastructure to help cancer patients get medications.