PHAP to ensure stable supply of medicine

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Pharmaceutical companies yesterday vowed to ensure a stable supply of essential medicines to the public and work with government in making available innovations and technologies to detect, prevent and treat COVID-19.

Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) executive director Teodoro Padilla said the group is looking closely at supply chains to ensure the availability of essential medicines and vaccines to patients.

“Our members have a continuity plan to ensure that the supply of needed diagnostics and medicines is uninterrupted during emergencies,” he said.

Recognizing the crucial role the pharmaceutical industry plays in helping stop the spread of the virus, he said the group is working with government to address the matter.

“We are also ready to support the government to contain this current health threat,” he said.

As pharmaceutical companies work to come up with new medicines and vaccines for COVID-19, PHAP president Beaver Tamesis said the group wants to bring these to the country in partnership with the government, once they are ready.

“Pharmaceutical companies enable the research and development of innovations and technologies for the detection of the COVID-19, and in the ongoing search for its potential prevention and treatment. Once available, our goal is to immediately bring these life-saving innovations into the country in partnership with the government. Now more than ever, there is need for strong public-private collaboration to contain health threats,” he said.

PHAP representing the research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare sector and groups providing medicines in the country, is a member of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

Members of the IFPMA are developing new medicines and vaccines to respond to COVID-19 which was first detected in China.

The disease caused by the COVID-19, has symptoms like cough and fever in mild cases, and  pneumonia in more severe cases.

To develop medicines and vaccines for COVID-19, global pharmaceutical companies have reviewed their drug and vaccine portfolios to check if there is research that could be useful to fight the coronavirus.

To fast-track development of vaccines, PHAP said there are also biopharmaceutical companies working with the Chinese government and research institutes in the US and Australia.

Biopharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson has announced it has started to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline is making its technology available to support rapid development of candidate vaccines.

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