Filipino Coalition Raises Fake Drug Alarm


A group of doctors, pharmacists, drug regulators and distributors, called Samahan Laban sa Pekeng Gamot (Samahan), are spreading the warning that ten percent of all medicines in the Philippines are fake.

Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag, Samahan spokesman and chair of the Cosmetics Committee of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), said "Consumers unwittingly buy from drugstores with counterfeit medicines. If that patient dies, no one will be going to report anymore because the patient is already dead," reported The Philippine Star.

“From the point of view of the PMA, we strongly recommend that we buy only from Food and Drugs Administration- listed pharmacy. Source is important. As doctors we do our diagnosis, and then we depend on medicines to work,” she added.

Working with the Food and Drugs Administration, the Philippine Medical Association, the Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPA) and the Drug Stores Association of the Philippines, among others, Samahan advises consumers to check labels and packaging carefully.

“Check the color, the texture, and if possible, the taste of the medicine. Beware also if the packaging is different and if the price is significantly or unusually low,” she said. “It is equally critical to buy only from FDA-licensed pharmacy,” Calimag added.