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Mobile app to modernise Philippine pharmaceutical process

A mobile app has been developed to aid in the modernisation and innovation of the Philippine healthcare system, according to a recent report.

The mobile app, called Electronic Drug Safety System (eDSS) is a donation by mClinica to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Philippines.

This app will help the agency to monitor dangerous medicines and counterfeits as well as be able to collect prescription information digitally.

The eDSS app allows pharmacists to take a picture of the prescription and then enter related information.

This significantly reduces the amount of time needed to comply with old regulations.

This is more efficient as compared to the old process that requires them to write down all the information in logbooks as required by the 1969 Philippine Pharmacy Act.

The former process was very tedious as the pharmacists were required to write down the prescription information word for word.

Paper logbooks have been used for long enough already and it is time to modernise and innovate. This is exactly what the mobile app does.

Not only does it cut bureaucracy, but it will also help millions of Filipino patients each time medicine is purchased.

The data gathered can give information on what medicines are in demand. This could alert the authorities to possible outbreaks as well as analyse treatment patterns and provide supply information.

More importantly, the data generated from these prescriptions will also help the government know where medicines are available and how to allocate resources.

The data generated from the eDSS creates a National Pharmacy Information System that helps the FDA allocate resources efficiently as well as protect patients.

The data will help the Agency find counterfeits and recall dangerous or ineffective medicines instantly.

With a National Pharmacy Information System, Government and aid agencies can advise people on where to find life-saving medicines in an emergency situation, even if ports and airports are closed.

This is essential because when Yolanda hit years ago, many people faced dire medicine shortages in areas without knowing that those same medicines were available in towns nearby.

The new requirement will be rolled out in tiers. Use of the eDSS will start in Manila, Cebu, and Davao this year. It is expected to be fully implemented by 2020.

Rural areas with limited Internet access are exempted from the implementation.

FDA inspectors from Visayas and Mindanao were already oriented on how to use the app. By the end of October, all inspectors are expected to be ready to implement the eDSS.

mClinica is a social enterprise catering to pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, governments and non-government organizations.

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