‘Make local mart free from fake drugs’

Incoming League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) president and Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla called on the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Coast Guard and local government units (LGUs) to take steps in making sure the local market is free from fake medicines.

Revilla aired his appeal after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Philippine Pharmaceutical Association (PPA) raised the alarm over the upsurge of counterfeit medicines in the market.

Experts emphasized the need for public awareness as the illegal trade is expected to reap an estimated $75 billion from unwary consumers this year worldwide.

More than 10 percent of drugs available in the Philippine market are believed to be counterfeit, they said.

“Health is important to the Filipino. This should be properly taken care of with the help of the Aquino administration,” Revilla said.

“Worst-case scenario, instead of curing the person, it makes it worse,” Revilla said. “It’s sad that for our kababayans, the mentality is whatever is cheap or if we can save by buying cheaper medicines, not knowing it can actually cause more harm than good.”

He added that the DOH and the LGUs should work hand-in-hand in coming up with an information drive against fake medicines, while the Coast Guard should strictly monitor the coastlines to prevent the entry of the fake medicines.

The FDA said most of the fake medicines came from China, India and Pakistan. (Anthony Vargas)

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