^

Headlines

371 online posts selling medicine removed

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
371 online posts selling medicine removed
During a meeting of the government’s pandemic task force on Monday, FDA officer-in-charge Oscar Gutierrez said there have been 2,202 links to drug products sold on Facebook and online selling platforms Lazada and Shopee that were taken down since 2020.
AFP

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 371 online posts selling medicine have been taken down while 78 stores have been found selling drugs in violation of existing laws this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

During a meeting of the government’s pandemic task force on Monday, FDA officer-in-charge Oscar Gutierrez said there have been 2,202 links to drug products sold on Facebook and online selling platforms Lazada and Shopee that were taken down since 2020.

Gutierrez reported that 189 online links were taken down in 2020 while 1,642 others were removed last year.

The FDA has also caused the removal of 371 links as of this month.

Gutierrez said Facebook’s consumer policy channel based in Dublin, Ireland allows the FDA to report contents that may have violated national policies.

“Right now, we do it electronically through email. Then we receive a confirmation that they have received our report and they give us a tracking number. And within five days, as long as we endorse it, they remove it within five days, anything health product-related that is violative with our national policies,” Gutierrez said.

President Duterte discouraged the public from buying medicine online to avoid falling prey to sellers of fake drugs.

At the same meeting, Gutierrez said 185 sari-sari stores were investigated for alleged unauthorized sale of medicine from Jan. 13 to Feb. 11.

Of the 185 stores, 78 were found selling medicine.

Thirteen fake medicines, mostly COVID-related, were seized from these stores.

Variety stores that are selling medicine violate the Pharmacy Law and the FDA Act of 2009, while those that are offering fake medicines violate the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs.

Of the 78 stores, a majority or 48 are located in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Natangas, Rizal and Quezon), 29 in Metro Manila and one in Bicol.

Gutierrez said variety stores are just victims in the proliferation of fake drugs.

“Actually, the sari-sari store has the license to operate from local government units. We would like to work with the LGUs, maybe they can pass an ordinance stating that the sari-sari store (cannot) buy or carry medicine,” he said.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said a memorandum circular would be sent to LGUs to assist the FDA in the campaign against the sale of counterfeit drugs.

“We will intensify this and make sure that our LGUs will join this campaign to get rid of these fake medicines because they are dangerous to health,” Año said.

Duterte said the FDA, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group should ensure that sellers of fake medicine are held accountable.

Filing cases is the only way to discourage people from selling fake medicines, he said.

“There must be follow-up prosecution so this should be stopped. If nothing happens after they are arrested, nothing will happen to these laws,” Duterte said in Filipino.

Under the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs, those who possess fake medicines may face imprisonment of not less than six months and one day but not more than six years. – Romina Cabrera

FDA

MEDICINE

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with