Healthy Startup
Category: Entrepreneurs By : Aastha Saboo Read : 705 Date : Friday, June 02, 2017 - 17:08:39




Toto Santiko Budi

Across Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, most pharmacies are mom and pop enterprises, or part of local chains. Being a highly fragmented market, the region lacks integrated healthcare data about patient care through pharmacies, such as what and how many drugs are being prescribed. The Singapore-based startup mClinica Pte Ltd aims to fix this, by collecting and unifying data from pharmacies and patients across the region, and, longer term, across the planet. “Connecting pharmacies to transform global health is what mClinica means to me,” says mClinica founder, Canadian Farouk Meralli, 31. Think of it as big data for pharmacies.

The startup launched in 2012 also provides solutions to analyze this previously unavailable data. It allows companies, governments and NGOs to make business and policy decisions backed by data-driven insights. With a presence in six Southeast Asian countries, the company has connected most of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, more than 5,000 pharmacies, 70 million patients, and billions of data points in its database and network. 

As an example of its work, mClinica’s mobile app runs programs for pharmacies which offers discounts to patients, who in return give their phone number to the company. In this process, the patients also get enrolled in a program that monitors and educates them about the medicines they are taking, thereby improving the use of their prescriptions and giving them access to affordable medicine. “This model not only has business benefits, but there is also a strong focus on getting a social benefit,” says Farouk.

In Indonesia, mClinica gathered data on tuberculosis treatments, which showed that half of all Indonesian patients received treatment inconsistent with WHO guidelines. This study was extended to Philippines as well, where it showed that one third of all patients received treatment inconsistent with WHO guidelines. “I have worked in NGOs and pharmaceutical companies in U.S., and I wanted to help with the problems of emerging and developing markets, where the pharmaceutical supply chain was fragmented. I wanted to create a strong business model, which could help improve lives of not just few but many,” says Farouk, who launched mClinica in 2012. Previously, Farouk had worked at medical multinationals such as Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Pfizer.

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