FDA OKs electronic prescriptions amid Luzon quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — With the entire Luzon placed under an enhanced community quarantine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the issuance of electronic prescriptions to the public.
“The drugstore shall dispense drugs as prescribed by the electronic prescription shall be deemed equivalent to a written prescription,” FDA said Wednesday in a statement.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo said licensed physicians may now send their prescriptions through email or messaging applications.
“Our patients may now present prescriptions sent by their doctors via email or messaging apps such as Viber or Messenger,” Domingo said, as quoted in the statement.
This is to ensure the continuous access of patients to prescription and maintenance drugs even with the strict quarantine measures in place.
“Even though we are experiencing health challenges, this should not deprive our patients of their access to prescription medicines and maintenance drugs,” Domingo said.
“These commodities are essential to each patient and as a national regulatory agency, we should be able to innovate means on how these will remain accessible to them without sacrificing safety and efficacy,” he added.
Domingo, however, noted this guideline shall only take effect during the period of the enhanced community quarantine period, which ends on midnight of April 13, 2020.
“This does not aim to replace the patient-doctor interaction, standard prescription and medicine dispensing process, but ensures the accessibility of essential medicines to our patients,” Domingo clarified.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday declared a state of calamity due to the viral outbreak, after earlier placing the entire island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine amid the increasing COVID-19 cases.
To date, the Philippines has 187 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in December last year.
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