The counterfeit drug market is believed to make profits of over $200 billion annually. However, this money comes at the expense of over 100,000 deaths every year after the consumption of counterfeit drugs or botched surgeries. At the moment, it is tough for a patient to differentiate between legitimately manufactured medications from the fake ones being distributed all over the world.
Counterfeit drugs have further dented healthcare systems reputation considering a lot of medical practitioners have been arrested for possession of illegal drugs. However, compared to the number that remains on the loose and the growing profits in the industry, those in charge of making those arrests are either sloppy or have no idea where to start looking. For starters, most of them have no experience in medicine, and a crackdown would require time and lengthy consultations.
Not to mention, the rise in cheap clinics ran by underqualified or suspended medical practitioners has made it hard to track the supply chain that will help trace the drugs back to the manufacturer. Information is altered during storage, and even big medical institutions can cover up their purchase and distribution of counterfeit medicine with a few adjustments to their medical forms.
Due to lack of standardized treatment plans, most countries have decided to start producing drugs. While drug production might not be illegal if vetted by the respective organization in charge of the process, locally produced alternatives for branded drugs have made it harder for the current healthcare system to combat the spread of counterfeit drugs. According to the World Health Organisation, over 16% of all counterfeit drugs contain the wrong ingredients.
As such, counterfeit drugs do not treat the ailment, they are intended for but instead put the patient at a greater risk. They also have adverse side effects which if merged with a patient’s condition can make their disease advance to fatal stages. However, Healthureum has a solution to this growing menace of counterfeit drugs. Here are some of its solutions.
• Affordable Healthcare
The main reason most people are neglecting major hospitals and opting for cheaper options is due to their expensive nature. However, most of these costly hospitals suffer from fund mismanagement as well as control from entities hell-bent on making profits off of the medical facility. If a patient is smart enough to avoid a dingy clinic located in their neighborhood yet can’t afford quality healthcare in their state, they are forced to travel to countries such as India.
However, most people living in poverty-stricken countries have no option but to take a leap of faith as they seek medical attention in these cheaper clinics and pray for the best. However, instead of getting proper healthcare, most of them end up dead due to botched surgeries or counterfeit drugs. By making healthcare affordable to everybody on the planet, Healthureum will efficiently eradicate the prevalence of counterfeit drugs which are mainly spread through cheap medical institutions.
The death associated with these drugs will also be exponentially reduced as the doctors that are underqualified are exposed. Using Blockchain technology, patients will be able to know a doctor’s affiliates, their license, and the areas they are allowed to operate. Not to mention, seeing that all this data is recorded on the Healthureum ecosystem, medical practitioners will be afraid of purchasing or promoting the use of counterfeit drugs because their supply chain will be easier to track facilitating a faster crackdown.
• Blockchain Technology
According to research conducted by Pistoia Alliance in mid-2017, 68% of life science readers and pharmacists believe that medication supply chain management can be significantly improved by Blockchain. Earlier on at the start of the year, a Blockchain technology adoption exercise was carried out in Illinois and helped collect all valuable information regarding the medical institutions in the area as well as the practitioners practicing medicine in the area.
Hospitals will also be able to authenticate the medicine they receive from distributors in large-scale helping kick counterfeit drugs to the curb. Blockchain technology will use a hash which is embedded on all original drugs before public release to track the movement of counterfeit drugs. Not to mention, if a medical institution needs to recall a particular drug for any reason, Blockchain technology will help ease their traceability.
The supply chain is the first place everybody should look when trying to identify the route taken by counterfeit drugs. However, as mentioned earlier, most health institutions still have outdated means of recording and storing data making it hard to retrieve and easy to alter. However, with Healthureum’s Blockchain technology, you will be able to authenticate any drugs given to you at the hospital or the pharmacy.