DoH Ensures Cheap Drugs despite Hike in Food Prices

Article excerpt

To achieve this, the department has spearheaded the "P100 Project," where generic medicines are bundled into one package providing patients complete treatment for common ailments such as diarrhea, hypertension, and ulcer, among others, all for P100 or less.

"People tend to buy branded medicines but in smaller portions. (The) tendency is they don't complete the prescription because it's expensive, so they don't get cured and instead develop resistance to the drug," said Alexander Padilla, DoH Undersecretary for Standards and Regulations.

"This ensures buyers complete medication for a price low enough for them to afford," he added, referring to the "P100 Project".

The program, which is a side-project of the Botika ng Bayan under the Arroyo administration, will be rolled out in 100 government hospitals and their respective pharmacies in the next three to four months, Padilla said.

Some P100 million worth of generic medicines will be made available especially to the poor which is its identified market.

Padilla said the project is an off-shoot of the Cheaper Medicines Law that mandates government doctors employed in government hospitals to prescribe only generic medicines.

Josephine Inocencio, national president of the Drug Store Association of the Philippines (DSAP), a pool of over 2,000 drugstore operators in the country, lauded the efforts of the DoH and the Bureau of Food and Drugs on the "P100 Project. …