When Timothy Fagan was 16, he had an emergency liver transplant.
The operation caused him to suffer from severe anemia. Fagan was prescribed the drug Epogen to treat the blood disorder.
But his red blood cell count wasn’t improving.
And there was another mystery: Shortly after each injection, Fagan was getting severe and painful muscle cramps.
Doctors couldn’t explain why the medicine wasn’t working.
After two months of treatments, Fagan and his family received shocking news…
The version of the Epogen he had received was counterfeit. The small vials contained only one-twentieth the amount of active ingredient indicated on the label.
New York attorney Eric Turkewitz represented Fagan’s family in the ensuing lawsuit. He said:
This wasn’t a drug someone bought on the street [but rather from a major national pharmacy chain]. The family never thought for a moment that it was anything but real.
Fagan isn’t alone…
Since 2010, nearly 1,400 adverse reactions related to counterfeit drugs have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration. And the problem is only growing…
But a solution may be in sight. And it involves revolutionary blockchain technology…
Even if you don’t care about cryptocurrencies, you need to learn about the blockchain. That’s because our goal is to find ways to help you get richer every day.
And as we showed you in yesterday’s Daily, blockchain technology is disrupting all types of industries and creating profitable opportunities for investors.
Now, what was once a technology used solely to track bitcoin is being used to save lives.
A Global Epidemic
World police agency Interpol says that more than 1 million people die each year from counterfeit drugs.
But the actual number may be much higher. That’s because many cases go unreported.
The global trade in counterfeit drugs is estimated at around $200 billion. And it could account for 10% of the global prescription drugs market.
In the United States alone, federal agents seized nearly $73 million in counterfeit drugs in 2014. The most likely targets in the U.S. are Americans age 50 and older. They receive about 71% of outpatient prescriptions.
The greatest risk of running into fake drugs comes from phony internet pharmacies that mail drugs directly to consumers. A 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office estimated there are 36,000 of these “rogue” internet pharmacies.
Some of the “rogues” sell drugs that contain dangerous ingredients, including heavy metals, rat poison, and even toxic highway paint. What’s worse, nearly every type of drug on the market is vulnerable to counterfeiting.
But a solution is on the way…
How the Blockchain Is Making Buying Safer
Those who follow us will know by now that the blockchain is an online ledger. Like any other ledger, the blockchain tracks transactions.
The blockchain was originally created as a secure and efficient way to track cryptocurrencies. But today, we’re seeing blockchain technology applied to other industries—including pharmaceuticals.
Chronicled is a San Francisco-based startup. Last month, it partnered with consultancy firm The LinkLab to create a prescription drug blockchain.
The network will automatically and securely “track and trace” prescription drugs—using “cryptographic” identity chips—from manufacturer to pharmacy to hospital to patient.
According to the firms, the blockchain will provide a less expensive way for drug companies to comply with government regulations on privacy and authenticity.
The project is still in its testing phases, but Chronicled has already raised $6.25 million.
You can learn more about Chronicled here.
Analyst, The Palm Beach Letter
P.S. Drug safety is just the latest way the blockchain is disrupting age-old industries. Right now, Palm Beach Confidential editor Teeka Tiwari and I have six unique blockchain opportunities in our portfolio. And our average gain is 93%! Plus, our next pick has the potential to disrupt Amazon.
This week, Teeka is hosting a free three-day training series on finding the world’s most promising cryptocurrencies. (Today’s second video shows you how to set up a cryptocurrency trading account.) Click here to learn how to register for the free series. And remember, for the first time ever, we’re giving away $250,000 in actual bitcoin, and all attendees will have a chance to claim their portion.
Volatility is returning…
The market has been unusually calm since the presidential election. We had a record 109 straight days without a 1% daily drop. Prices just haven’t been moving.
But last week, volatility started to return. The Volatility Index (VIX)—also referred to as the “fear index”—rose to its highest level since November.
We told you to expect some volatility in the markets. Now, it’s here.
But don’t panic… These spikes have proven to be great buying opportunities in recent years.
Bitcoin ATM Coming Near You: One of the hurdles to bitcoin adoption has been buying the cryptocurrency. For most people, that means opening an account on a cryptocurrency exchange. But the growth of bitcoin ATMs will change that. Word comes from Coin ATM Radar that at least 1,100 of the machines in 56 countries are operational worldwide. To find the bitcoin ATM location nearest to you (and how to use the machines), check out this website.
Trump Is an Insider Now: Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was right at the time: The way to make America great again is to “drain the swamp” of all the insiders. But now we see President Trump is working with the insiders rather than against them. “The Donald” is doing the same things, more or less, that anyone else in his position would have done. He is doing what the insiders want…
Deadly Drones: Connecticut could become the first U.S. state to allow police to use drones equipped with deadly weapons. The bill was approved overwhelmingly by the state legislature’s judiciary committee last week. It would ban “weaponized” drones in the state but exempts police and other agencies involved in law enforcement. Civil libertarian groups are opposed to the legislation. What’s your take on police using deadly drones? Let us know right here.
From Don B.: I’m a recent subscriber to The Palm Beach Letter and I absolutely love Big T’s information about cryptocurrencies. I’m a retired commercial banker. But cryptocurrencies are relatively new to me. Please would Big T consider hosting more talks/seminars/webinars about cryptocurrencies?
From Sharon F.: You’re doing a FANTASTIC JOB with cryptocurrencies and I’ve more than doubled my money since I jumped in last year. Looking forward to more of your great advice!
Editor’s Reply: You’re in luck, Don and Sharon… Palm Beach Confidential editor Teeka “Big T” Tiwari is hosting a free three-day webinar on cryptocurrencies this week. His first webinar shows you how to become a successful cryptocurrency investor. And the second shows you how to set up a cryptocurrency trading account. You can watch both of them right here. And stay tuned for the third webinar…
From Bob C: Your April 12 essay on internet privacy (“You Have No Right to Absolute Privacy”) was very timely. Thanks in no small part to your insights and encouragement from the PBRG mindset, I’ve been undertaking a project to become an expert in “real world security” awareness skills. These skills are already becoming necessary for the typical PBRG reader, not just traditional hackers and geeks. The writing is on the wall, as your latest letter makes abundantly clear.
The Trump Team reached out to our network for advice on the economy. On April 12th, we sent them this field memo on a coming crisis…
We’re now releasing it to the general public… (It’s not what you expect.)