MediConnect, a DLT solution for the pharmaceutical industry using blockchain technology by Stratis Platform, today welcomed UK Meds as its first major commercial-only online pharmacy partner in its pan-industry platform for compliance with the UK General Pharmaceutical Council’s new regulation for online pharmacies.
MediConnect, the developer of a distributed ledger technology-based solution for providing reference data to track prescribed drugs, tackle prescription drug addiction and more, and UK Meds, an online pharmacy and partner of MediConnect, welcome the updated regulation for online pharmacies issued on 16 April 2019 by the General Pharmaceutical Council. The measures announced are in line with MediConnect and UK Meds stated aim to improve safety standards for patients and prevent the abuse of prescription medication.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the independent regulator of pharmacies and registered pharmacists in England, Scotland, and Wales, has ruled that online pharmacies must introduce stronger safeguards for patients by implementing measures in the following key areas:
- Ensure medicines are clinically appropriate for patients
- Implement further safeguards for certain categories of prescription-only medicines
- Enhance transparency and patient choice
- Strengthen regulatory oversight
For this, every online pharmacy will need to implement strong identity checks on all purchasers in accordance with NHS DCB3051 and ensure that the medicines prescribed are delivered to the right person. This will set a consistent approach across online health services and prevent multiple orders for inappropriate medication being made from the same address or using the same payment details. Pharmacy owners will also have to manage a safe process from prescription to delivery, including providing additional details on where the health professionals involved in prescribing and supplying the medicines are based and how they are regulated.
UK Meds is one of the largest and fastest growing online pharmacies in the UK with a user-base of 200,000 people, issuing 1,000 prescriptions and registering 300 new customers on the UK Meds website every day. Since 2017, it has been engaging with regulators to create a single shared source to identify the over-prescription of medication. After becoming dissatisfied with the slow process, UK Meds joined with Tower Health to explore a collaborative solution to the problem, resulting in the formation of MediConnect.
“We fully support the updated guidance outlined by the General Pharmaceutical Council. Online pharmacies have brought important innovation to the industry, however, patient safety must always be the number one priority. The user verification and authorization checks enabled by MediConnect will make it the gold standard for providing the highest levels of patient care. We have been engaging with regulators since 2017 to create a new framework for patient care and, by integrating into MediConnect’s blockchain solution, we are delighted to be at the forefront of these new regulations introduced by GPhC.”
MediConnect’s platform and DLT-based solution will meet the highest specifications for accuracy and security required by HMG to satisfy the GPhC regulation, the Falsified Medicines Directive, and other regulations, as well as leveraging HMG-backed citizen identification. It will safeguard patient safety by recording prescription, dispensing and delivery records and order history on an immutable DLT accessed securely by prescribers, pharmacies, clinicians, authorities and regulators. This allows prescription drugs to be traced across the supply chain, ensuring that pharmacies can safely and securely dispense appropriate medication to patients.
“For two years, we have been working towards building a solution capable of securely sharing data within the pharmaceutical industry. We are therefore greatly encouraged to see the General Pharmaceutical Council regulate for improved security and transparency in online pharmacies, highlighting the value of our solution to protect patients from the devastating impact of prescription drug abuse. MediConnect’s goals are directly aligned with the interests of both regulators and pharmacies, and we look forward to proving the practical benefits of the MediConnect solution as we develop our proof-of-concept with prominent online pharmacies such as UK Meds.”
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