Everardo Barojas
Director General
Prescrypto
/
View from the Top

Digital Prescriptions Complemented with Medicine Delivery

By Miriam Bello | Mon, 09/27/2021 - 09:54

Q: What are the main drivers or your market growth in the last year?

A: Mexico’s healthcare sector lagged in the adoption of digitalization while other industries embraced it. The isolation brought by the pandemic changed this situation, leading care providers to integrate digitalization to communicate and provide remote consultations using common communication platforms. These were not professional services and required further modifications to provide appropriate medical consultations. As a result, doctors began using electronic clinical records, specialized telemedicine services and digital prescriptions.

Living the digital experience made both the doctor and the patient recognized the need for an electronic remote prescription service, which also requires deliveries to complete the experience. These services are a basic need, not a commodity.

Q: How did Prescrypto adapt to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: COVID-19 allowed Prescrypto to improve its distribution capabilities. We had already established a strong prescription service that met the requirements of the doctor but in terms of medicine supply and distribution, we were still limited in March 2020. After the isolation measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, many e-commerce pharmacies saw us as a strategic growth channel, which helped us expand our services as we began to partner with e-commerce pharmacies.

Retail pharmacies were different. They hesitated to adopt these technologies because the pharmacopoeia had no reference for digital prescriptions. But in December 2020, the pharmacopeia changed to include the use of an e-signature on digital prescriptions, which led retail pharmacies to start using Prescrypto.

Q: How have alliances, such as that with Doctoralia, benefited Prescrypto’s market position?

A: Our alliance with Doctoralia has been mutually beneficial. We have another valuable alliance with Diagnosticare, which has an innovative product. However, our most disruptive alliances have been with pharmacies like Farmalisto, medimonth and Brics. In June 2021, we launched our integrated platform with pharmacy chain FarmaPronto. To date, most doctors reach us through this type of channel.

Our most immediate goal is to complete our integration with pharmacy chains to have a real-time inventory of our medicine supply and provide patients the opportunity to fill all their prescription needs in one place. We discovered that to buy all the medicines required in a prescription, patients need to visit four or five different pharmacies. This is a barrier to treatment that affects all players: patients, because they face hurdles to follow their treatment; doctors, because they leave clients unsatisfied; pharmacies, because they failed to supply; the insurance company, because it can lead to further expenditure; and pharmaceutical companies, which invest in products that do not reach patients. 

Q: What is Prescrypto’s reach in more isolated areas of the country?

A: We have more alliances with independent pharmacies than with large pharmacy chains. Digital prescriptions can link independent pharmacies with private doctors and provide a competitive advantage to these 20,000 pharmacies, which are often family businesses disadvantaged by economies of scale.

Q: What regulatory processes and requirements is Prescrypto following to guarantee prescription safety?

A: Digital prescriptions follow The Model Law on Electronic Signatures published by the UN Commission on International Trade Law. This law, which explains how a document and a set of electronic signatures should look, is the basis for Mexico’s electronic signature law.

Prescrypto does not use advanced electronic signatures because we think that limiting the doctor’s practice by using only a signature issued by SAT is not ethically correct. Also, the pharmacopeia changes of 2020 only mentioned that companies must comply with the data retention standards of NOM-151. We follow the same cryptographic and electronic firm standards and we are the first digital prescription company to comply with NOM-151.

Electronic signatures are used for many services, including credit cards, documents and contracts. Thus, NOM-151 is a response to fintech needs that required electronic signatures to protect and validate data and documents.

Healthtech regulation should respond to innovation and fair competition to provide a fair ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs to thrive using their own technologies.

 

Prescrypto is a digital platform that connects doctors, pharmacies and other health product providers with patients. The platform allows doctors to prescribe medications and provide consultations.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst