The opioid crisis is profitable. Blockchain tech can end that. | Brian Behlendorf

The opioid crisis is profitable. Blockchain tech can end that. | Brian Behlendorf

The opioid crisis is profitable. Blockchain tech can end that. | Brian Behlendorf

By Bryan Wright 55 Comments October 11, 2019


So there’s a tremendous amount of fraud
in the prescription drug marketplace. And just like with provenance tracking of
diamonds or the food supply chain you can have provenance tracking for pharmaceuticals. You can have a system whereby the drugs—from
the time they’re manufactured and the batch that they were made in and in the factory
they were made in—were tracked in someway that maybe parts of that were public, maybe
parts of it were private, but were tracked through the distribution process to the end
recipient. Now obviously when we’re talking about individual
patients and the prescriptions that they get, that is highly sensitive data. That’s data that you wouldn’t ever store directly
in a chain—what your prescription is, what my prescriptions are, that sort of thing. But tracking these objects, tracking these
individual vials of a drug or bottles of a drug as they get down to the pharmacy level
is something that we can do to try to see: where are there pharmacies that seem to be
dispensing a lot more than they should be based on the prescriptions that they’re
receiving? Furthermore, finding ways to actually measure,
so maybe separate from the opioid crisis but we actually have a challenge of adherence
in the drug industry of understanding for a given prescription drug who is actually
taking that at the times they should be taking it and continuing to take the full regiment
rather than stopping halfway through because they felt okay. And so you could see IoT sensor data from
the dispenser devices themselves, weaving together a picture that allows us to see all
the way from the batch the drug was made in to the people who were prescribed it, and
who took it if there is a problem out there, if there is a quality control issue where
did that come from, and who might be responsible for that? And correspondingly the patients who do adhere
well, are they benefiting from the use of those drugs? Or the ones who are having poor reactions
are the ones who are only taking half their prescription? That sort of thing. Bringing it back to the opioid crisis, I think
tracking prescriptions in a system like this, if we can find ways to do it that respect
patient confidentiality (because I’m a huge believer in the importance of keeping the
patient at the center of who their information is being shared with and on what basis), but
if we can build kind of an airtight system for tracking all that and understanding where
these prescriptions are going we’ll have a much better basis for discovering fraud,
discovering places where there might be fraud, and it’s worth deeper investigation and
trying to understand how do we get to – I tend not to blame the drug taker because I
think they’re just medicating to meet their needs, it’s really the distributors and those
writing fake prescriptions and others who are enabling a lot of this crisis, and I think
distributed ledger technology can help us understand where there might be abuses in
that system. So we have a number of healthcare organizations
in our community. We have a company called Kaiser, really big
on the West Coast, and I think out here they’re known as well. Change Healthcare, which is a part of McKesson,
and lot of startups. And they’re looking at a number of different
use cases in the healthcare sector from supply chain provenance in pharmaceuticals to provider
directories which are basically these directories of doctors and the certifications that they’ve
been awarded and are they keeping up with their yearly ten hours of education, those
types of things, to prescriptions. And then really the big kind of Holy Grail
is medical records. Can we make medical records more portable? Not by publishing them into a distributed
ledger, because again the whole point of a distributed ledger is push this data out widely,
but instead by creating wallets of health information for individuals that keep track
of your records, that operate somewhat like a Bitcoin wallet where you know you have these
assets and you can decide to share these records, you receive them from one doctor you can decide
to share them with another doctor. If you moved and you had to change doctors,
change healthcare providers, you can bring that data with you. And what would be tracked on ledger is a pointer
to your wallet and a signature for each of the records you have that attest to the actual
data. So if I get a prescription I can’t change
that entry from ten pills to 100 pills because that would change the signature, and the signature
is what would be recorded in the ledger. So all of these kinds of questions about trust
and provenance and discovery, understanding “where is all my data?” and being able
to bring that together and view the patient as the center of health information exchange
is a problem that we haven’t been able to solve when we approached health IT as a point-to-point
integration challenge or left it up to the patient to cart around the big boxes of paper
records or CD-ROMs, but I think we can really make a dent in it with distributed ledger
technology, and many of our companies are working on that very challenge.

55 Comments found

User

M R

Blockchain can't interact with the real world. Its the oracle problem and it has not been solved.

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User

Discover Your Awesomeness

Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world..

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User

John Torres

Block chain is racist

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User

abba4life

There is no opioid crisis.

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User

Raymond Spicer

YOU DONT NEED BLOCKCHAIN FOR THAT.YOU NEED TO GET RID OF ALL THE WHITE ELITE DRUG LORDS (SLACKER FAMILY,BAYER,JOHNSON AND JOHNSON)

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User

Lee Alexander

It would be legitimate pain patients who have already exhausted alternatives, the doctors and pharmacies who would suffer because you know that information will be used against them. There is no such thing as internet privacy because members of our government will violate it with impunity even if no one else does. Between the NSA and data mining politicians, to name only a few culprits, these are the people who would catch the brunt of it in spite of being guilty of nothing although legitimate patients rarely become addicted although they do when they are driven onto the streets in order to get their medications. Addicts are often driven to it by despair as the working class suffers through austerity programs.

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MGTOW Psyche

Big Pharma needs this epidemic (which they probably created themselves to begin with) . How else can you sell that much Afghanistan opium legally?
The opium epidemic is simply a side effect of too much opium in inventory and not enough clients!

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User

DelbertStinkfester

My daughter had a left over bottle of 20 oxycodine. I used them for my knee pain and Holy Crap those things are the only thing that killed my pain….I really liked those things

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User

steve betance

Who writes this shit ?

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User

den danielo

A lot of opioids that get into the us come in illegally most times produced in China

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User

Evan S

How does blockchain tell the difference between legit taxed narcotics and deadly untaxed fentanyl from abroad?

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User

Stosh James Peterson

STARTED BY THE KOCH BROTHERS.

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User

PassFissn

Might be some of things this old technology is good for

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User

ANOLDMASTERJUKZ

Our Beloved Karen Maxcine Yeager was a victim of accidental overdose. We tried to get her to use cannabis for pain management, she was afraid she would lose her health insurance.

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User

ANOLDMASTERJUKZ

Crying again .

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User

John Petrov

Can I get B!!! U!!! L!!! L!!! S!!!
YOU SEE WHERE IM GOING WITH THIS

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User

King Vegeta

Wasted 6 minutes of my life with all his “uh, uh, uhs”. It was a chore to watch.

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User

SquidCaps

Funny how this is not so big problem in countries that don't have irrational fear about national registries and databases… I mean, the blockchain here is not necessary and doesn't fix the problem: having one centralized database for all your health related data, including your prescriptions. No entry in the database: you ain't got a valid prescription. Ours works so well that it calculates all the rebates and discounts, insurances etc in the cost, renewals happen online, the pharmacy sees all my medication and the system doesn't alerts for duplicates… It is hard to fake a prescription here, also docs just won't give you opioids, not even when you need them. You REALLY have to need them for real before they put you on them.

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Dawn the OG

Its all BS!!! They have taken the medication away from those of us who needed it and NEVER abused it! Then others still get this medication dancing around like fools doing things I couldn't do when I had my meds. ffs Government should not be in our medicine and I have no faith in the medical community and fast losing faith in this country. The recovering addicts cheer it all on because in their eyes……If we cannot have it then you shouldn't either. Excuse me? I am not the one who took it to get high and have never been high because I am in actual pain! I am not the one who did illicit street drugs stealing from people either! This country looks down upon the people who followed their laws and cater to the criminals.

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Jack Finegold

Yes blockchain makes it easier for cartels to move money undetected.

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Marc Padilla

Don't call em happy pills for nothing. Vicodin, Happy Codone, Yeeeeee! Pain bad! Happy Good!

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User

Gary lewis

blockchain is a solution desperately looking for a problem. the hype never ends.

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User

Contact your Congressmen

This doesn't sound like a solution to opioid crisis. This would only keep track of records put in by doctors who use the system. I assume most wouldn't unless they were legally obligated. And people would still break the law regardless of whether there was this digital ledger out there.

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User

Phrygian Dominant

Totalitarian af!

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Seth Jones

Distributed Ledger Technology: Translation, we put RFID and NFC devices on all of your medical devices and prescription containers so that we can actively monitor your use and we then share this information with 3rd parties to verify you're not supplying this stupid drug war we started.

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User

ZR1 LT5 Chris

Or venture into herbal supplements like Kratom that never has killed anyone. Big Pharma is scared to death of this herb.

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User

Kyle Ruth

Republicans love for profit death as long as it’s right after you’ve been born

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User

Chuck-U Farly

The opioid epidemic was created by Big Pharma for profit. It is part of their business plan to make in the Billions of dollars with these drugs while only paying out in the millions with lawsuits. Here is how one of Big Pharma's scams work. (I've edited this post to add links below to prove my claim.)

Doctors are not experts on drugs. They depend on what the pharmaceutical companies tell them about their products. Pharma Sales people push drugs for a wide range of usage which in many cases are not what the drugs were designed for. Also, these companies create software programs for doctors to use where they enter symptoms and the program advises which drug to use. These drugs tend to be highly addictive drugs that don't really help the patient. Once the patient is addicted Big Pharma rakes in the money. Also, it is important to note that Big Pharma spends more money on lobbying than any other industry. This is how they get politicians to blame the victims of this scam rather than go after Big Pharma.

My advice to all of you is whenever you are prescribed medication talk to your pharmacist about its side affects. Ask them if they are addictive, have adverse side affects if you stop taking it. Also, go on line and research the drug. I know first hand. I complained of headaches which the doctor gave a prescription for. I found out that the drug was highly addictive with serious side affect when you stop taking them. The drug was designed for use as an anesthesia not for headaches. The doctor used software program that the pharmaceutical companies provided to determine which drug to treat the symptoms. This particular drug wasn't for headaches. When I complained to the doctor about the drug he then went back to the program to find their second choice. At the time I didn't know he was using this software that big pharma created. I checked out the 2nd drug and it was designed for anesthetizing people for surgical procedures and was regarded and highly addictive. I didn't want to see this doctor again who was a specialist by by regular doctor said I should go again and he would talk to the specialist. When the specialist gave me a 3rd prescription I did a quick check on my phone, I then crumbled up the prescription in front of him, shoved it in my pocket and walked out. It was another addictive drug used to anesthetize patients. I later found out that he was using a program made by Big Pharma to determine what to prescribe.

Drug pushers are honest. They are only selling to people what they want. Big Pharma are dishonest because they are tricking people into getting addicted to their drugs.

I have edited this post to add the following proof that Big Pharma is responsible for creating the Opioid Epidemic. It seems a rude obnoxious asshole just wanted to protect the Pharma Industry. Most likely this arrogant idiot works for one of them and wants to pretend Big Pharma cares about all of your when their primary concern is with their share holders and profits.

How Big Pharma Stated the Opioid Epidemic
https://www.poison.org/articles/opioid-epidemic-history-and-prescribing-patterns-182

Here is another site that says the same thing.
National Institute On Drug Overdose – how the opioid epidemic was started
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis

What is interesting with this next article is that it is putting the blame on those who are prescribing the medication but it is the pharma companies that tell the doctors how they should be prescribed and for what symptoms. This brings us back to the software programs that the doctors depend upon. Big Pharma made claims that their drugs were safe but are they really?

Pharmaceutical Journal – Blames how these drug were prescribed
(But it is the pharma companies that tell the Doctors how to prescribe these drugs)
https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/opinion/comment/the-prescription-opioid-addiction-and-abuse-epidemic-how-it-happened-and-what-we-can-do-about-it/20068579.article?firstPass=false

The solution on how to stop this from spreading is to crack down on the pharmaceutical industry for pushing dangerous addictive drugs by claiming they are safe when they are clearly highly addictive and dangerous. People have died because Big Pharma cared more about profits and millions more have had their lives ruined.

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User

Death By Cognitive Dissonance

Looks like the off brand version Christopher Hitchens.

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JustOneAsbesto

Blockchain will give us all free opioids? Sign me up.

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Blue Jay

So your idea is to use a money making system to stop another money making system from making money.

Where have I heard this before?
Oh yeah Wall Street has the same selling point.

Gtfo nothing gonna stop the opiod crisis untill ppl from big pharma go to jail.

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User

David Hughes

So… Could we legalize cocaine, please? Maybe 3D print me some?

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User

A3Kr0n

Maybe if people felt that they had more control over the outcome of their lives, if they feel like they're accepted as a part of their society and were given the opportunity to earn a living wage there wouldn't be an opioid drug problem.

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User

HERE~FIRST...kinda;)

Pig

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Zboegt

"Blockchain" is code for "We need more investor dollars". and nothing more.

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User

The sailing Brothers

This guy is very boring

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Soletestament

Yea… unless we're planning to break up the regional stranglehold hospitals and medical corporations have, I don't see how this is a big problem. There are only three or four big pharmacy chains in the US and all of them have nationwide databases. Similarly you'd have to go really fucking far to find a doctor that wasn't a part of the medical group dominating the area. Cheating the system for more meds just isn't something people do often. At least not in a way that blockchain will solve.
That said the crisis wasn't caused by loose drugs. It was caused by doctors prescribing highly addictive shit like Norco as if it was Tylenol. These pills would literally addict you taken AS prescribed and when the patients came back to their doctors to complain the doctors told them it wasn't he pills or accused them of abusing them. It took way too long for the medical field to recognize that they seriously fucked up. And they've been pretending it didn't happen ever since. Acting like this crisis came out of nowhere, and leaving all the blame on the addicts.
Sorry… just I worked briefly in the medical field while this was happening… and it made me so fucking angry seeing these drugs go out when I'd spend half my time on the phone with addicted patients who didn't understand why this was happening to them. Doctors ruined thousands if not millions of lives and we're still pretending like it didn't fucking happen talking about how "blockchain can solve it". /spit

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Inacio Tasse

This is timely. Patients on many types of medications have a hard time getting off them. This is especially true with psychotropic medications. The current belief is that patients will be taking these medications for the rest of their lives. Gradual withdrawal is not even available to them. They have to go on a withdrawal roller coaster by taking their drugs every second day or breaking tablets and counting the beads. Ridiculous. Health IT is an important part of developing a prescription system for all patients. A supply chain system with the customer in mind. Formulations made for each patient. Prescription plans customised for each patient. It's a tragedy to have so many people taking these damaging drugs long term. It's terrible to subject patients to painful withdrawals as they try to make a withdrawal plan with the standard doses available to them. Research into the possibility of withdrawing people off drugs is not even conducted because the infrastructure isn't there. The other day the news reported of a business making customised packaging for their clothing deliveries to minimise waste. Surely they can do something similar for pharmaceutical drugs.

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Paul LaNoue

No way big pharma is going to allow any tracking. They will have their representatives making comments under this video attacking it. We are in the Age of unlimited corporate power. People dying of overdoses isn’t even a speed bump for them.

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nasachusetts

Right? Right? No more tracking systems plz. Privacy between the Dr and patient void of the government intervention is what we need. Stop pharmecutical lobbying, take cannabis off the scheduled list.

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Nico las

Nice to see a forward thinking idea like this. The idea of blockchain has the potential to reduce the number of mediums that exist during the transportation of virtually anything

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cybersekkin

How to increase the cost of a product that is already hugely inflated in cost to end consumers. Blockchain is nothing special – just a special checksum kept in a database, but sure let's ut the info out there so criminals can find out which pharmacies to knock over as they have the best supplies…. And, let's ensure the consumers pay for it all.

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Matija

Vaporware sellers. Blockchain can't solve any of these. Sensors can't either.

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Ethan

hahaha what?😒🤔🙄
What did he say? I understood nothing he tried to conveyed. His idea was all over the place and very convoluted. Don't pretend you know what he was talking about!😆

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Brenda Rua

All health care for profit is now immoral when we have the resources to do better. Ought implies can, after all. And the US can follow the rest of the advanced Western countries. We don't because too many of the people get led into fighting over the minutia and knee jerking into blinders-n, ears-closed spasms of shouting Marx and Socialism. Look to your own damn interests and you will see that events in Washington are just a death spasm circus of the macabre. Health care for all is a right for all.

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Cassafrass Cubby

This could be abused, of course, like any system, like every system, but the benefits can far outweigh the abuse with proper oversights and audits. Opioid manufacturers should be held to the strictest standards from start of production to when it reaches the patients hands, as should any medication that people can easily become addicted to, overdose and die from.

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MrHandsomeboynow

Had this playing in while playing xbox, man this shit was boring!

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Heather Yllanes

Government bs meddling is how we got where we r now wtf the last thing anyone needs is more, legalization of all drugs prescription and street is only solution not another group of vultures trying to profit of human suffering

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Heather Yllanes

This idea Grosser than gross

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duke1duke1

They already know who makes a lot of prescriptions for these opiods and they often review their licences. This causes more and more people with extreme chronic pain to seek out compassionate doctors who still give high doses.

Anyway, the doctors are not where the fentanyl is coming from. You can ship 100,000+ doses of it in a kg of powder, manufactured in China. Illegal manufacturers are not going to agree to tracking with blockchain tech lol

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Targeted Individual

U ppl r insane. No one prescribes this shit anymore unless for very temporary or extreme circumstances. #OpiodHysteria

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G Blake

Oh give me a break. Cutting off a supply doesn’t fix the problem. The fact this stuff has been given out like candy and getting loads of people hooked then treating them like loser junkies when they go into withdrawal is the problem. So many productive and educated people have had their lives destroyed by docs over prescribing and not managing a taper when they need to stop taking it. Anyone who thinks the answer is to cut the supply is just arguing to get loads of these people onto heroine.

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Jack Mechak

" did they have apoor reaction because they only took half the dose" lmao not working? double it!

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Unlimited

Reply if you want to know about opioid interrupter therapy rehab in Europe.

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Sam Sırri

Just go read the book "Chasing the Scream", you'd change your mind.

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