Intel and pharma look to develop blockchain technology that tracks opioids

Apr 30, 2018

Diverted and excessive prescriptions have been a few of the key drivers in the development of the opioid epidemic.

But Intel Corp. is now working with several major players in the pharma industry to use blockchain-based technology that will better track and trace opioids so that they stay on course for their intended use.

Blockchain — the backbone technology of cryptocurrencies that works as an electronic ledger of transactions between different parties — could be implemented to ensure that narcotic prescriptions are not leaked out of the supply chain, and that patients are not getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors. Although doctors in many states are already using databases to monitor prescriptions, this information could be altered. With blockchain, however, every time a product exchanges hands and is recorded, the information cannot be changed.

Intel will reportedly be working with Johnson & Johnson and other companies this spring to further explore the potential for blockchain technology in combatting the opioid crisis. The main goal is to eventually transition all drug companies to using blockchain to track medicines, especially those vulnerable to black market abuse, through the supply chain.

 Read the full Bloomberg report.