DOH: Cebu docs now follow Generics law
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Freeman) - September 12, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu and Central Visayas region have shown improvement in terms of implementing the Generics Act of 1988.

This was the assessment of Department of Health-7 assistant regional director Doctor Lakshmi Legaspi.

She further observed that doctors have now become compliant in terms of the law's requirement of writing the generic name of the prescribed medicine and not just the brand name so as to give option to the patient whether to purchase the generic or branded one.

"When the law was still new, we encountered problems as doctors would specify the brand that patients must buy. We even had to call the attention of some doctors as our monitoring showed they are not following the law. But now, it's different. We see that doctors now write the generic name," Legaspi said.

Republic Act No. 6675 is otherwise known as "An Act to Promote, Require and Ensure the Production of an Adequate Supply, Distribution, Use and Acceptance of Drugs and Medicines Identified by their Generic Names" promulgated September 1988.

Section 6 paragraph "a" of the Generics Act states that "(a)ll government health agencies and their personnel as well as other government agencies shall use generic terminology or generic names in all transactions related to purchasing, prescribing, dispensing and administering of drugs and medicines."

The succeeding paragraph further says "(a)ll medical, dental and veterinary practitioners, including private practitioners, shall write prescriptions using the generic name. The brand name may be included if so desired."

The same law penalizes violating physicians who do not write the generic name of the prescribed medicine.

First offenders shall be reprimanded by health authorities and the violation will be recorded in the appropriate books of the Professional Regulation Commission.

A penalty amounting to not less P2,000 but not exceeding P5,000 is for the second offenders.

Third offense means penalty of not less than P5,000 but not over P10,000 as well as suspension of license to practice profession for 30 days.

Finally, fourth and subsequent commission of offense could lead to fine of not less than P10,000 and suspension of license to practice profession for one year or longer.

The DOH official assured consumers that they need not worry about using generics medicine as opposed to beliefs that these are not as effective as the branded ones, which authorities call misconceptions.

"All these drugs cannot be released without the analysis and clearance from the Food and Drugs Administration. So there's no reason for these to be not effective," Legaspi said.

In fact, it is the branded medicine, she added, that is prone to being faked.

The month of September is observed as Generics Awareness Month.—  Jessa J. Agua/NSA (FREEMAN)

ADEQUATE SUPPLY AN ACT CEBU AND CENTRAL VISAYAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DOCTOR LAKSHMI LEGASPI DRUGS ADMINISTRATION DRUGS AND MEDICINES IDENTIFIED GENERIC GENERIC NAMES GENERICS ACT
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