MediConnect—a blockchain-based platform for tracking prescription medicines—received the backing of the Ugandan government to tackle counterfeit drugs in the country.
The news comes after MediConnect met with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and other government officials including minister of health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
MediConect Blockchain to tackle counterfeit medicines
Following the discussions which focused on blockchain use cases in healthcare, the Ugandan government pledged its support for MediConnect’s pharmaceutical blockchain solution. More specifically, the government stated that it would deploy the platform for tackling the country’s counterfeit drugs problem.
The World Health Organization estimates that one in 10 medical products in developing countries is fake and that 42% of them are from Africa. And according to the Ugandan National Drug Authority (NDA), 10% of the drugs prescribed in the country have substandard or counterfeit copies available in the market. Besides, counterfeit drugs also are contributing to the emergence of diseases resistant to old cures.
MediConnect aims to tackle the issue of counterfeit pharmaceuticals by enhancing the process of product verification using distributed technology. The platform employs blockchain for the recording of all prescription medication, thus providing a better way for managing the drug supply chain. This also prevents the distribution of counterfeit drugs across the country.
Dexter Blackstock, CEO of MediConnect, commented:
“Ugandan President, Minister of Health and National Drug Authority all understand the need to act fast to tackle the country’s counterfeit drug problem and recognise the benefits offered by tracing medication on the secure, scalable blockchain framework we are developing”
“We see this as an important opportunity for MediConnect to form part of Uganda’s national infrastructure and protect its citizens by ensuring all drugs in circulation are authentic and safe,” Blackstock added.
Meanwhile, Uebert Angel, strategic partner at MediConnect expressed his concerns about the counterfeits drugs problem in Uganda adding that it is “humbling to make a difference” by supporting MediConnect’s blockchain pharmaceuticals initiative.
President Museveni, who supported the adoption of blockchain in Uganda at the 2019 Africa Blockchain Conference, confirmed the meeting with a tweet:
A pharmaceutical blockchain system is what Africa needs to tackle a growing counterfeit medicines and substandard drugs problem. Such as a system would allow stakeholders to track accurately and transparently pharmaceutical products as they move through the supply chain. This makes it easier to confirm the authenticity of drugs and track it back to its origin.