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Nonprofit Pharmacy, University Establish Blockchain Consortium To Reclaim Medicines And Track Prescription Waste

Lipscomb University joins as founding member; other universities encouraged to join

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Good Shepherd Pharmacy and Lipscomb University's College of Pharmacy have launched a nationwide consortium of prescription repositories, health care organizations and higher education institutions to reclaim medications and track prescription waste.

"The RemediChain consortium is starting a nationwide movement to solve the financial and environmental problems of prescription waste while serving vulnerable patients," said Phil Baker, PharmD, CEO of Good Shepherd and its sister company, RemediChain. "Our country needs a national repository for donated medication, and we'll build it. Universities and prescription donation programs nationwide are partnering with us in this crusade. Lipscomb has supported our network from day one. We're honored to recognize them as our founding university node."  

The network is built on RemediChain's blockchain technology. Consortium members serve as "nodes," building and maintaining servers to collect and track donated medication data in their areas. Member fees support the network and provide data access for research and other educational pursuits, which can generate further insights on how this work benefits patients.

"This has enormous potential for patients in need, and our participation reinforces the commitment to our student pharmacists to model innovative pharmacy practice," said Roger Davis, PharmD, vice provost of health affairs at Lipscomb. "This network is developing like the Internet did – one university node at a time. We're thrilled to be a founding member of what I believe will be life-changing for thousands of people. I hope our peers will join this worthy endeavor."

Interim dean of the College of Pharmacy, Tom Campbell, PharmD, believes strongly in this concept from both a partner/administration perspective for the college and a personal perspective. Campbell's wife recently lost her battle with cancer, and he helped others by donating her unused medication. 

Baker has big plans for the network. Since October 2018, RemediChain has received more than $1.1 million of donated oral chemotherapy medication, some of which has been verified and dispensed to patients in need. Oncology teams in participating states – Tennessee, Georgia, Texas and Iowa – can request medications from that pool for patients who cannot afford them. The consortium has verbal commitments from four universities, but to grow and serve more patients, it needs more nodes.

"Comparing data between states is where the true value lies, as we can identify trends and, once the consortium grows large enough, increase our capacity," Baker said. "Ultimately, this consortium is the backbone of what we envision our health care future to be. Together, we can resolve basic problems – beginning with thousands of Americans who go without necessary medication because they cannot afford it. The more network partners we have, the more lives we can save."

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