Dr. Iltifat Husain’s physician take is at the end of this article
A bold Greek experiment for donating unused medications to others in need may be worth emulating in other countries. The GIVMED app allows users to register their excess medicines by scanning the barcode on the package and choosing where they want to donate their medication. The medical app developers explain “according to the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association, 57,000,000 boxes of medicine expire every year in Greece, while social pharmacies cannot accommodate their 15,000 daily requests. The mobile application extracts all medical information from the barcodes found on medical packaging, and links users with organizations that could redistribute this medication to individuals in need of them, like social pharmacies and NGOs. Social pharmacies are responsible for collecting and distributing medicines to people with financial problems, free of charge.”
The medication sharing app lets donors decide which medications to donate now and which ones to donate before their expiration date. It also gives users updates on how many are in the community’s network, the drugs that have been donated, and their total worth. They can also check to see which medicines are in short supply in social pharmacies. Once the user sets up the application, they can decide how they want to deliver their unused medications to the beneficiary organizations, either delivering it personally or by asking for assistance from the GIVMED network. And if users want to create their own personal pharmacy with the app, they can input a list of all their medications along with their expiration dates. That not only helps the GIVMED beneficiaries but provides donors with quick access to the current prescriptions when they visit their own healthcare practitioner.
Dr. Iltifat Husain’s take:
The “sharing economy” is in full display with this medication sharing app. A really innovative solution to a very real problem. Unfortunately, this type of system wouldn’t work in the United States as each state has different regulatory rules in place when it comes to donating medications. I’m interested to see if these developers will try to take their platform to other countries — or if this system would work in resource poor locations in the world.