Online selling of prescription drugs not allowed by law – DOH
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Monday, June 10th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Social media have become a popular platform for online selling of almost everything – from shoes, clothes, gadgets, machines, food, even health supplements and prescription medicines.
A concerned netizen posted on social media how easy it was for her to order prescription medicines from an online store and pay the amount at any payment center.
The UNTV News Team checked on the online pharmacy which the netizen mentioned and what other prescription medicines were available for purchase.
The online pharmacy was still open but the prices of medicines were no longer posted.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), selling prescription drugs online is not allowed and may incur penalties under the law.
“Hindi pwede iyang antibiotics sa Lazada (Antibiotics are not allowed on Lazada). That is a violation of our Generics law and Cheaper Medicines Act,” noted Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Prescription is a must. It is a requirement. You cannot have medicines, antibiotics delivered through Lazada as if it were an ordinary item. We will file a case against Lazada if it is doing that,” Duque added.
The Department Secretary said if antibiotics would be made easily available on online shops, cases of anti-microbial resistance might soon get out of hand.
In a World Health Organization (WHO) report, seven thousand individuals die every year across the globe due to anti-microbial resistance or AMR.
AMR happens when a certain drug is no longer effective to fight or destroy microbes or parasite inside the human body due to over dosage or unprescribed intake of antibiotics.
For this reason, the DOH reminds the public to religiously follow the doctor’s prescription of a certain anti-biotics to benefit from it.
In line with this issue, the DOH will conduct its own investigation on reports about prescription drugs being sold online.
Data from the DOH showed that from January 1 to June 29, 2019, there have been 106,630 dengue cases this year. This is 85 percent higher than the 57,564 cases reported in the same period in 2018.
Regions where the dengue alert was raised include Regions 1, 2, 4A, 5, 8, 9, 11, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection commonly occurring in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, including the Philippines.
The dengue virus (DEN) comprises four distinct serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4) which belong to the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main vector that transmits the viruses that cause dengue. The viruses are passed on to humans through the bites of an infective female Aedes mosquito, which mainly acquires the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person.
How dengue virus affects your body?
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Cybele Abad, in an interview with UNTV Digital program Lifesaver, said that when dengue virus enters the human body, it spreads through blood and infects the cells by binding itself to the cell membrane.
When this happens, an infected person may feel sudden, high fever followed by severe headaches, pain behind the eyes and severe joint and muscle pain. A person may also feel fatigue, nausea and skin rash which would appear two to five days after the onset of fever.
Watch this online episode of Lifesaver for more information on how dengue affects your body.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of dengue typically last two to seven days. Most people infected by the virus will recover after about a week.
However, some people who get sick with dengue may develop severe dengue, a more serious form of disease that can result in shock, internal bleeding and even death.
Symptoms of severe dengue include stomach or belly pain, bleeding from the nose or gums, vomiting blood or blood in the stool. Warning signs generally begin in 24-48 hours after your fever has gone away.
If you or a family member develops any of the following symptoms, immediately go to the nearest hospital.
How to prevent dengue?
To protect yourself and your family from dengue, the DOH advises the public to follow the 4S strategy: Search and destroy, Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation and Support fogging/spraying.
The DOH said it is important to search and destroy the breeding sites of mosquitoes such as containers that can store water; employ self-protection measures by installing screen on windows and doors in homes and schools, wear long socks, clothes with long sleeves and daily use of mosquito repellent.
It is also vital to seek early consultation when a person is starting to experience the symptoms. The public is also urged to support fogging or spraying only in areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.
Experts said dengue virus-carrying mosquitoes are usually active from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
Lifesaver is a UNTV Digital program that offers basic first aid training essential to anyone who happens to be a bystander to an accident or emergency. It also educates viewers of imperative emergency response lessons and indispensable disaster preparedness tools to be able to save lives in times of calamities.
For more information on dengue, other basic first aid and emergency response tips, visit Lifesaver’s Youtube and Facebook accounts.
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019
The Department of Health (DOH) has declared “national dengue alert” on Monday (July 15) after recording a spike in reported dengue cases in several regions.
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, there is an 85 percent increase in the number of dengue cases in the country, from January 1 to June 29, 2019. From 57,564 reported cases in the same period last year, it spiked to 106,630 this year.
Among the regions included in the national dengue alert are Regions I, II, IV-A, V, VIII, IX, XI. BARMM, and CAR.
“The top among the regions would be Western Visayas, followed by Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Soccsksargen and Northern Mindanao. There is no national epidemic but there is certainly regional” added Duque.
Duque said they also want to raise awareness in communities where dengue cases are evident.—AAC
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday (July 9) pushed for the implementation of mandatory immunization of children anew amid slumping vaccination coverage due to the controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.
During a school-based immunization program in Valenzuela City, Health Francisco Duque III stressed the importance of vaccination among schoolchildren to protect them from various diseases.
He said he has been pushing to make immunization mandatory in the country but the proposal is still up for discussion with stakeholders and lawmakers.
“I think we can push for that but like most other pieces of legislation, this has to undergo broad and deep consultations,” Duque said.
The government’s immunization coverage suffered a decline by 30 percent in 2018 due to Dengvaxia scare.
The health official previously suggested for the government to seriously consider compulsory vaccination of children following the outbreak of measles in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) and Western Visayas.
Duque said the proposed mandatory immunization program will only provide proven safe vaccine shots against polio, Diptheria, measles, tuberculosis and human papillomavirus (HPV).
Valenzuela City Representative Wes Gatchalian agreed with Duque’s sentiments, saying a law is needed to enforce the program.
“It’s a separate legislation. Hindi itong pwedeng isingit na lang sa IRR, isang bagay na hindi na lang natin pwedeng ipasok na lang sa bibig ng mga magulang for them to accept,” Gatchalian said.
The DOH recently relaunched its school-based immunization program which aims to vaccinate some nine million students this year.
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