Skip to main content

Drugs on the Block

A major topic of discussion during the Democratic presidential primaries was the rising cost of healthcare and the costs of prescription drugs. This discussion also touched on the seeming free reign and lack of adequate oversight of prescription drug companies. I think most people are familiar with the outrageous costs of some prescription drugs (despite the manufacturing costs being significantly lower), but there's another issue that pops up in this discussion. And that issue is the lack of comprehensive tracking of prescription drugs. Enter: blockchain.

In a nutshell, pharmaceutical drugs are manufactured and shipped to distributors and then from distributors to stores and healthcare facilities. The movement of drugs doesn't always flow in a single direction. Drugs are sometimes moved from one store/facility to another or even back to the distributor. All of this movement creates profitable opportunities for counterfeiters, thieves and other evildoers.

Congress decided that there needed to be improvements in the electronic tracking and tracing of pharmaceutical drugs and the Food & Drug Administration has pushed for that change to occur quickly. There are various pilot programs happening--several of which deploy blockchain technology. It seems that the results have been promising so far. Stay tuned!

Have you ever had a "bad batch" of drugs? Do you think blockchain can minimize the impact of these types of incidents? Let me know on Twitter at @blockchainblawg.


Popular posts from this blog

Before You Mint Your NFT

With NFT season taking a bit of a breather (kinda), I thought this would be the perfect time to lay out a few things to consider before minting an NFT.  If you missed the frenzy, well, welcome. "NFT" stands for non-fungible token and these digital tokens represent real world ownership and provenance of a particular asset. NFTs are minted (i.e., produced), stored and transacted (bought/sold/traded) on a distributed ledger like blockchain. Some NFTs represent ownership of tangible assets and some NFTs are digital/virtual assets  (yes, a digital piece of art was purchased for $69M). "Non-fungibility" is a scary word but it essentially means that the asset is unique, cannot be interchanged with another asset, and cannot be replicated. Think of NFTs as either collectibles, like artwork and trading cards, or title to tangible/real property, like real estate and cars.  So with all the excitement having simmered down a bit, below are a few things to think about before you

New home. Who dis?

This post will be short and not blockchain-related. I recently moved my blog to a new platform so I'm still working out the kinks on the aesthetic aspects. Thanks for your patience!

The Rundown on CBDCs

Everyday there is a news report about a country that is "exploring" or "studying" the possibility of developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). In the past few days, I've read articles about Rwanda, Israel and France looking to pilot programs with CBDCs. And yesterday, the Bank of International Settlements announced its backing of the development of CBDCs. With approximately 80% of central banks around the world taking a closer look at CBDCs, now is as good a time as any to learn more about them. What Are They? A central bank digital currency is exactly what it sounds like--a digital currency issued by a central bank. In the same way our central bank, the Federal Reserve, issues the U.S. dollar, it would similarly issue some official U.S. digital currency ('digital dollar'). This is pretty much where the simplicity of it all ends. Things get really hairy (really fast) when central banks have to figure out how CBDCs fit into a traditional financ