Saturday, January 26, 2008
the battle rages...
The past two days I've been posting about the response of the Dumaguete and Negros Oriental doctors to the proposed amendment of the Generics Act Bill. What follows below is a continuation of the Official Position Paper of the collective bodies of the Negros Oriental medical community. Yesterday's post elicited a comment from someone who calls himself/herself Purdoy, raising some issues which I believe have merit for discussion.
I just realized that some of my readers are not very familiar with how a weblog works. Here's a little lesson: when you see some words or texts that have a different color from the rest of the text (meaning the color black or gray) then please click on the colored texts and that will link you/bring you to another page where there is more data/information relevant to what is being discussed. It's actually much simpler than it sounds. Try it.
Happy navigating and reading!
(This is the last part of the Official Position Paper of the Negros Oriental Medical Societies.)
DRUGS OF THE SAME GENERIC NAME DIFFER IN TERMS OF ITS THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS AND SAFETY
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS AND EXPERIENCES OF GOVERNMENT PHYSICIANS
The advent of the Generics Act spawned the proliferation of drug companies, many of which have questionable origin, carrying fake, sub-standard and violative products, obviously considered to be detrimental to our patients (see attached Sub-standard Alert of the Department of Health Region VII, and other pertinent documents pertaining thereto and its eventual effects on our people).
Only medical doctors have the scientific knowledge, expertise, and experiences to recognize proven clinical responses of success treatments, failures, and idiosyncratic manifestation of drugs, drug interactions, contraindications, adverse reactions, and other effects of drugs on their patients.
Only medical doctors have the competence to determine which drugs have the most beneficial effects on their patients. Hence, the physicians should not be denied of their preference for medicines that have long track records of proven quality and efficacy that would result to early recovery, shorten hospital stay, good quality of life, and thereby, making it more economical, cost-effective, and cost-beneficial to their patients.
Only the medical doctors are morally, ethically, and legally accountable and subject to legal actions should any untoward effects happen to his/her patients. Available data show that not all drugstores are manned by or under the direct operational supervision and control by a licensed pharmacist.
Delegating the power to the salesperson with no or limited knowledge of drugs or medicines and their interactions poses great threat to public safety. Observations have shown that most salespersons change the medicines prescribed by the physicians with other generic product of unknown quality.
Some government hospitals are often made the dumping ground of generic products because of its low cost, some of which are expiring or near expiry. However, many government physicians have observed that these generic products are of poor quality, have less or no therapeutic effects, and even prolong the hospital stay of patients. Hence, government physicians often resort to the combination of medicines to treat an illness rather than giving the drug of choice.
Generic drug companies also change their prices at whim to increase their profits several folds, which is clearly disadvantageous to the patient and to our government. Medical doctors are held hostage in this situation because they cannot do anything with the bureaucracy, which has created a big obstacle in achieving an efficient health care delivery to the needy.
OUR ISSUES WITH THE BUREAU OF FOOD AND DRUGS (BFAD)
Is BFAD capable of assuring strict compliance with the standards of efficacy and quality of pharmaceutical products?
Does BFAD have enough resources to monitor drug companies and outlets?
Can BFAD cope with random sampling of questionable generic drugs?
Has DOH instituted the necessary sanctions on drug companies carrying sub-standard, violative, and fake drugs? (What happened to the Sub-standard Medicine Alert of DOH Region VII released on January 17, 2001 concerning PHILIPPINE PHARMAWEALTH, Inc. products?).
PUBLIC SAFETY IS A PUBLIC TRUST AND SHALL BE NON-NEGOTIABLE
Direct patient care is the primary responsibility of doctors and hospitals and nobody else is held accountable for the welfare of the patient, in its preventive and curative aspects in our Health Care Delivery System. Only the medical doctors are subjected to legal sanctions and must bear the consequences thereof if any untoward effects in the treatment of patients occur.
Curtailing medical doctors from pursuing high level of performance, which is expected of them in the choice of the best possible drugs or medicines for their patients, is an act of disenfranchisement of the human spirit, and would lead to diminishing their rights to practice the Art of Healing, which is God given.
Hence, we need to redirect our efforts to the improvement and strengthening of existing and flawed laws (What happened to the recommendations made by the government and private hospitals and practitioners to the Oversight Committee in 1988, re: Generic Act of 1988) and we should not allow these flawed laws to remain forever and become part of the archives of history.
Price Monitoring Index for all drugs and medicines, both generic and branded.
Acquisition of drugs or medicines through bulk procurement
Procurement of drugs or medicines through Parallel Drug Importation (selective)
The government must strengthen the capability of BFAD to assure strict compliance with the standards of efficacy, safety, and overall quality of pharmaceutical products.
BFAD must be provided with enough resources to ensure that its operations are at par with International Standards.
BFAD must perform with equal regularity random quality checks on Drug Companies and their products.
There must be BFAD laboratories in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao or if possible per region
BFAD must exercise its functions of monitoring supervision, and regulation of drug outlets
Revisit the Generic Act and its implementation by the oversight committee
Consultation with people, specially the concerned sector (Health Sector), before any amendments are passed.
Lastly, consult your doctor for the best medicine for you.
The prescription made my physicians for their patients is a sacred document between the Doctor and the Patient. The Rx stands for the command “Take thou”, so please do not bastardize our prescription and, most importantly, protect our people who are the beneficiaries or recipients of health care.
KENNETH T. COO, M.D.
President, Negros Oriental Medical Society
JONATHAN C. AMANTE, M.D.
President, PCP – NegOr Chapter
JOHNNY B. YEE, M.D.
President, PAFP – NegOr Chapter
VERNA T. REYES, M.D.
President, PMWA – NegOr Chapter
ELY V. VILLAPANDO, M.D.,
DANTE G. DOMINGO, M.D.
IPHO – Negros Oriental PHO II, NOPH
FELIX A. SY, M.D.
Chief of Clinics, NOPH
QUINTIN C. BASCOS, M.D.
COH, Bindoy District Hospital
EDGARDO P. PIALAGO, M.D.
COH, Gov. William Villegas Memorial Hospital
CLEMENTE S. HIPE IV, M.D.
COH, Siaton District Hospital
GERVACIO S. SALATANDRE, JR., M.D.
COH, Bais District Hospital
HENRISSA M. CALUMPANG, M.D.
COH-OIC, Bayawan District Hospital
TRIFONY D. LUCHANA, M.D.
COH-OIC, Canlaon District Hospital