Welcome to The ASC
A non for profit organisation working with both prescribers and dispensers to combat dependancy and addiction to prescription drugs
The overuse of prescription medication is increasing dramatically; there are no visibility or control mechanisms in place to prevent patients purchasing or being prescribed from multiple sources, specifically in the private sector
Our vision is to see all private prescription providers being required under the terms of their prescribing license, to have permission led access to a database that would then be used as a live suppression file to flag patients that could be in danger of addiction at the time of their order.
Addiction costs lives
Addiction is fast becoming a health issue in the UK, particularly to Opiate painkillers and sleep inducing medication. The over use of prescription medication is increasing dramatically; there is no visibility or control mechanisms in place to prevent patients purchasing or being prescribed from multiple sources, specifically in the private sector. This is supported by the recent report in the USA,
“Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis".
The UK government has announced a review into prescription drug addiction and will report early next year. Public Health Minister Steven Brine (March 2018) said: “We cannot be complacent. This is a huge problem in the US and we must be absolutely sure it doesn’t become one here.” However, many experts worry it already is
Change is coming
A GMC spokesperson said: ‘Digital health services are expanding rapidly and, while they may present a convenient option for some patients, like any new technology, there are shortfalls that must be addressed.’ They added that they are working alongside the ‘MHRA, GPhC and CQC to map the regulatory landscape and address these issues’.
The BMA’s GP Committee prescribing lead Dr Andrew Green said: ‘In comparison to the highly regulated world of general practice, these providers seem to work in a “wild west” beyond the reach of many regulators.
‘Of particular concern are prescriptions for drugs with potential for dependence, such as opioids, and for antibiotics, whose overuse threatens us all.’
Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: ‘It’s incredibly concerning to hear reports of patients buying prescription drugs online, often from unverified websites, with minimal security checks in place and with decisions being made by prescribers who are unfamiliar with the person they are prescribing for.’
She added: ‘New services will inevitably experience some teething problems, but when our patients’ health is at risk, urgent, swift action must be taken to comprehensively address these before the service is rolled out further.’
Our solution to reduce drug dependancy and potential addiction
Professor John Hunt
The purpose of this collaborative ASC working group is to identify, analyse, report on and recommend requirements to government to help address prescription drug addiction challenges. By trialling our system across a community of online and off line prescribers and pharmacies here in the East Midlands, we will be able to gain real world insights into the use of prescribed medication.
In March 2019 we will see:
The initiation of a Feasibility Trial to scope permissioned DLT in the real world of prescribed medicines.
The creation of “one” evidential-standard and "tamper-evident" transaction records that are highly distributed and potentially visible to all in the chain of distributing and prescribing.
Identification of a ‘gold standard’ that can be extrapolated onto a national stage.
Quite clearly, the adoption of our platform by all prescribers and pharmacies would not only reduce time and monetary cost for healthcare providers, it could also improve ‘Patient Confidence’ in the system, as well as fulfilling the professional ‘Duty of Care’. Professionally we have a challenge to reduce dependency and the eventual addiction to prescribed drugs.
Our goal is to have every Pharmacy and Prescriber using a single source of data , the Mediconnect platform provides a safe, secure, fast and permissioned database for all our members. With the focus on preventing dependency and addiction to drugs, whilst providing a vastly improved duty of care to patients.
We need to influence change with regulators and our vision is that one day it will be mandatory for all pharmacies and prescribers to be using a single distributed ledger to prevent the misuse, over prescribing and potential dependency of prescription drugs.
Full Membership to the ASC for Pharmacies and Prescribers is FREE for the first 6 months, followed by an annual fee of £295 starting in January 2020.
ASC Membership for
Pharmacies and Prescribers
The ASC Trial
In the first 3 months of 2019 pharmacies and prescribers who elect to take part in the feasibility trial, will not pay any membership fee for the first 2 years.
These first adopters will be integrated into the MediConnect platform and the data from the trial will be used for a themed programme of academic research that will be published, alongside the published data to present to regulators and government.
During the trial records will be flagged to identify over prescribing. This record will demonstrate the DLT capability to see these events and present the option to block any attempt to be prescribed or dispensed medication.
The Mediconnect distributed ledger allows for data to flow seamlessly between prescribers and pharmacies, ensuring any attempt to order prescribed medication outside of the allowed time frame is prevented via the permission led integrated blockchain solution.
Data security and privacy are paramount. Using the permissioned distributed ledger from Mediconnect, provides peace of mind for patients and confidence to prescribers, pharmacies and regulators that the ASC is operating the platform within an assured framework.
The academic led research will evaluate the data outcomes from the trial and the outcomes will be published to help formulate future guidance development for the national rollout programme and help steer change within the Pharmacy world.