Advocacy Group Criticizes the Philippines’ Regarding Counterfeit Drugs

An advocacy group in the Philippines recently criticized the government’s handling of counterfeit drugs.

The Samahan Laban sa Pekeng Gamot (“Samahan”), a group comprised of pharmaceutical companies, drug stores and health professionals, counters the Philippines’ Department of Health’s claim that counterfeit drugs account for only 10 percent of the market, saying that the actual figure is closer to 30 percent, according to Malaya Business Insight.

Samahan also urged consumers to buy prescription medications from only legitimate sources, like pharmacies, hospitals, doctors and approved websites.

The advocacy group also criticized the government’s handling of the 16,300 Botika ng Barangay (village drugstores) outlets it helped establish.

Samahan said that these shops were initially stocked with drugs by the Department of Health and were supposed to replenish their supplies through a monitored procurement process. However, some of the stories have turned to the cheapest suppliers, and sometimes, as a consequence, are buying and reselling counterfeit drugs.

Samahan isn’t the only entity that recognizes that the country must do a better job of handling counterfeit drugs.

“There’s a tremendous room for improvement,” Scott A. Davis, regional senior director for global security for Asia-Pacific of Pfizer, told the news source.