Farouk Meralli, CEO of Singapore-based startup mClinica, spoke on the final day of the 27th Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations (FAPA) Congress, held on October 24th-27th in Manila, Philippines. Meralli’s speech focused on the evolution of pharmacy in Asia, ensuring sustainability and social relevance through innovation and technology.
FAPA hosts its Congress biennially, welcoming pharmacy professionals from throughout the Asian region and beyond. This year, 1500 attendees gathered in Plenary Hall on the 27th to listen to closing speakers Dr. Doralyn Dalisay, mClinica’s Farouk Meralli, and Dr. Jonathan Chu.
The event’s theme centered around pharmacy’s role in contributing towards global sustainable development. Renowned practitioners, researchers, and industry professionals discussed the value of the pharmaceutical industry and pharmacy professionals beyond community health.
mClinica’s Farouk Meralli spoke specifically of technology’s role in ensuring the social relevance and sustainability of pharmacy. He referenced changes occurring in the West; notably, the consolidation between big pharmacy retail chains and insurers. He also discussed the changing role of the modern day pharmacist, from telepharmacy and mobile apps to the role that Amazon/Pill Pack will play in automating medicine distribution.
In Southeast Asia, the industry has not reached this level of innovation – yet. Meralli spoke about mClinica’s vision for improving pharmaceutical fragmentation, supporting pharmacists by enabling them digitally.
In his speech, Meralli described each of mClinica’s three platforms: SwipeRx, Connect, and SnapRX. SwipeRx is a digital network of pharmacy professionals that educates and empowers them to improve patient health in their communities, as well as the largest provider of free accredited continuing education in Southeast Asia. Connect is used by pharmaceutical companies to deliver digital programs allowing patients to better afford, adhere to, and understand medication. Finally, SnapRx uses data to improve health outcomes by creating national medical information systems in a matter of months.
The crowd erupted into applause as Meralli spoke of mClinica’s partnership with the Philippines FDA, signed on June 27th, 2018, which mandates the use of the Electronic Drug Safety System, or eDSS, at pharmacies nationwide.
Meralli’s presentation followed an engaging, highly scientific talk led by Dr. Doralyn Dalisay, Professor and DOST Balik Scientist Center for Chemical Biology and Biotechnology, University of San Agustin. She stressed the need for more pharmacists to fill the role of drug discovery, and encouraged pharmacists to pursue this field, drawing upon their deep knowledge of toxicity, medicinal chemistry, biology, and clinical trials.
Gathering the pharmacy industry’s global community, FAPA’s Congress organizers, speakers, and attendees worked towards a brighter future in healthcare.
FIND and SwipeRx, the largest pharmacy network in Southeast Asia, partnered to improve access to COVID-19 self-testing through pharmacies in regions across Viet Nam.