SouthCot opens "Health Plus Pharmacy" for poor patients

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, provincial health officer, said they opened the pharmacy earlier this month at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital to promote wider access to "quality, affordable and essential generic medicines and family planning commodities" among residents. 

He said the Health Plus Pharmacy, which was established through a partnership with the Mahintana Foundation, is part of the local government's continuing comprehensive health care delivery program that primarily aims to provide wider health care access to poor folks in the province's 10 towns and lone city.

Sandig said the provincial government earlier forged a memorandum of agreement with Mahintana to help put up the Health Plus Pharmacy.

"The main objective of this project is to increase the access of the poor to quality and affordable medicines and at the same time make the pharmacy a self-sustaining venture," he said.

Sandig said the Mahintana Foundation, which is a provincial pharmaceutical franchisee of the Health Plus project, is covering the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, General Santos City and Koronadal City with at least 15 Health Plus Pharmacy outlets.


The distribution of the Health Plus Pharmacies was earlier assigned to the National Pharmaceutical Foundation (NPF) through an order issued by the Department of Health (DOH).

The NPF implements the procurement and distribution system of the Health Plus project based on the objectives and guidelines set by the DOH.

To complement the opening of the Health Plus Pharmacy, Sandig said they launched the local government's Project 100 or P100, which allows residents of avail of quality medicine packages for common diseases for only P100.

He said the DOH earlier allocated an initial P1 million for the program through an agreement with the provincial government.

Sandig said the local government complemented the DOH's assistance with a P1 million support fund.

Under the program, he said treatment drug packages that are 100-percent rational, safe and effective" will be made available at P100 through a designated outlet.

Sandig added that the program will prioritize treatment drugs for hypertension, diabetes, and some common infectious diseases, which would normally cost a patient from P120 to P500. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)