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Philippine FDA becomes the first in Asia to use mobile app to transform pharmacies

A milestone for the Philippine public health sector. mClinica Founder Farouk Meralli introduced the Electronic Logbook and how it is poised to rapidly generate life-saving global health data in the Philippines during the 54th Anniversary Celebration of the FDA.

MANILA, Philippines (August 18, 2017) – The FDA Director General Nela Charade G. Puno in a bold and fast move to innovate in the pharmacy sector, recently introduced an Electronic Logbook, a mobile application that modernizes pharmacy practice by eliminating paper bureaucracy while collecting never before seen data and life-saving insights.

For half a century, Philippine pharmacists have lost valuable time with patients filling out handwritten paper logbooks to comply with local laws requiring them to document patient prescriptions. This bureaucratic process is also a challenge for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which monitors over 10,000 active pharmacies spread across 7,000 islands. But times are changing as the young new Director General partners with a tech startup to disrupt pharmacy practice nationwide.

What is an Electronic Logbook?
The Electronic Logbook is a mobile app that digitizes prescriptions using cutting-edge image recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, all within the convenience of a smartphone. The application is being donated by mClinica, a young HealthTech startup shaking up the public health sector in Southeast Asia using mobile technology.
The Electronic Logbook digitizes prescriptions and sends life-saving data on medicines real-time.

  • The Electronic Logbook can protect patients by monitoring prescription drug use in real-time, quickly recalling dangerous drugs, and reducing counterfeits and expired medicine.
  • The Electronic Logbook lets pharmacists spend more time with patients by cutting paper bureaucracy.
  • The Electronic Logbook gives policymakers and researchers life-saving data that show disease outbreaks and medication trends as they occur in real time.

The Electronic Logbook makes the Philippines the first country in Asia to use a mobile application nationwide to digitize prescriptions and generate life-saving data.

mClinica Founder Farouk Meralli presented the Electronic Logbook on the 54th Anniversary Celebration of the FDA held during the 1st Regulatory and Advocacy Fair at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Manila.

New insights generated from the Electronic Logbook in Manila
Just how effective is the new platform? The Electronic Logbook found that 1 in every 3 patients buy fewer antibiotic pills than the number prescribed. Taking less than the recommended number of pills leads to antimicrobial resistance. This is a deadly condition that makes medicines stop working. Fresh insights like these equip governments better to target and treat public health problems.

mClinica and FDA
Moving towards digitization of public health. Nela Charade G. Puno, Director General of Food and Drugs Administration and Farouk Meralli, Founder of mClinica are joined by (left) Paulo Martin Santos, Chief Technology Innovation Officer of the Food and Drug Administration during the 54th Anniversary Celebration of the FDA during the 1st FDA Regulatory Advocacy Fair.

“This new technology can modernize the FDA and our public health sector. It can help the FDA ensure strict compliance with national regulations, perform recalls in real-time, and reduce counterfeits and expired medicine, among other things,” says Director General Puno. “The Philippines can have national-level health data that will help us gain life-saving insights on the state of public health and patient care.”
Paulo Martin Santos, Chief Technology Innovation Officer of the FDA, said “We’re putting the Filipino people at the heart of our digital transformation; digitizing all possible channels of interaction. The Electronic Logbook is a testament of our objective — to challenge bureaucracy while saving lives at lightning speed.”

Bryan Posadas, Director at the Philippine Pharmacists Association, said “We’re happy with this Electronic Logbook because finally pharmacists will have more time with patients.”

“We are honored to be a part of Director General Puno’s bold new initiative to modernize the FDA. It’s exciting to see how this transformative technology will benefit an entire nation just by moving from paper to digital. Our goal is to rapidly generate life-saving global health data in a matter of months, not decades,” says mClinica Founder Farouk Meralli. “mClinica is the only organization with the skills and vision to create technology like this. We donated the app to the FDA because it’s the right thing to do,” adds Meralli.

mClinica is a member of Endeavor, a global non-profit that selects, mentors, and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs.


About mClinica

mClinica is an award-winning HealthTech startup comprised of young public health professionals, technologists, and data scientists. The social enterprise develops mobile technology to give governments never before seen data and life-saving insights.
Working with, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, and the University of the Philippines, mClinica advances research on global health issues. For more information on mClinica, visit

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