DOH to public: report docs who go for branded meds

Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., DOH Region 12 director, said the health department earlier launched a crackdown against such malpractice, which has reportedly been ongoing in several parts of the region.

“Concerned parties only need to file a written incident report to our office and we will immediately act on it,” he said.

Dumama issued such call as part of the department’s ongoing observance of the Generics Month.

Region 12 covers the provinces of  South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato and the cities of Koronadal, General Santos, Cotabato, Kidapawan and Tacurong.

Dumama pointed out that the skyrocketing cost of medicines in the country may be partly to blame for the continuing practice of some doctors to disregard the generic drugs in favor of the branded ones that are usually endorsed to them by sales representatives of   pharmaceutical companies.

Doctors usually get some perks from drug manufacturers when they endorse their products, he said.

“This concern was not only caused by those who manufacture and sell drugs and medicines but also by those who prescribe them,” he said.

Dumama cited that with the increasing cost of medicines and hospitalization in the country, many residents could now barely afford them.

He said many poor people, especially from far flung areas, often die without seeing a doctor.

The generic law, which was enacted in 1987, was one of the strategies the government  implemented to ensure that the public will have access to safe, effective and affordable medicines.

The law provides that all government and health agencies related to purchasing, prescribing and administering of drugs by all medical, dental and veterinary practitioners should encourage and promote rational use of generic names. 

Dumama appealed to pharmacists in the province “to put an end to this menace by strictly following the principle of providing quality service to the public.”

To help resolve this problem, he said the health department needs the participation of local government units and other line agencies.

“With the collaboration of all efforts from different sectors, we can achieve our goal of providing proper health services for every citizen,” he added.