Pharmacists seek to boost public awareness on importance of prescription in buying meds

UNTV News   •   October 3, 2017   •   8776


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPA) was stunned after learning of the killing of a pharmacist who was just doing her job.

“I did not expect that doing good will result into this kind of situation,” PPA former President Leonila Ocampo said.

It can be recalled that pharmacist Loigene Geronimo was killed by a still unidentified suspect after she refused to give him the medicine he was asking for because he had no doctor’s prescription.

The group said five days before Geronimo was shot, the suspect threatened her when she refused to give him the antibiotics he was buying without prescription.

“I hope the police would act and help us in capturing the suspect who killed Loi. My fear is that if he remains at large, he might kill others,” Ocampo said.

Aside from seeking justice, the association also sought help from the government in raising public awareness on the provisions of Pharmacy Act of 2016.

The law states that pharmacists should not sell over the counter drugs to consumers with no doctor’s prescription. These include medicines such as antibiotics.

PPA President Yolanda Robles said, “It is considered a violation when they sell antibiotic without prescription.”

“We realized that there is not enough public awareness about the new law and the role of pharmacists on health care,” she added.

The violators of the law may face fines of up to half a million pesos or one year to six years imprisonment. – Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue

WHO warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 20, 2019

A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration taken in Ljubljana September 18, 2013. REUTERS/SRDJAN ZIVULOVIC.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance around the world.

A recent UN report showed that 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. Among the 700,000 there are around 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

“Drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis,” the report reads.

On June 18, the WHO launched a campaign which aims to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs. 

The AWaRe tool or Access, Watch, Reserve tool aims to make antibiotic use safer and more effective. The tool specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections.

Dr. Hanan Balkhy, WHO Assistant-Director General for antimicrobial resistance said tackling antimicrobial resistance requires a careful balance between access and preservation

“The AWaRe tool can guide policy to ensure patients keep being treated, while also limiting use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance,” she said.—AAC

Drug companies told to do more to tackle ‘superbug’ crisis

admin   •   January 24, 2018


A lot more work needs to be done to ensure appropriate use of medicines

The World Health Organization (WHO) and experts consider antibiotic resistance “a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine.

“We all know that the problem of superbugs, antimicrobial resistance, is high on the international agenda,” said Access to Medicine Foundation’s Executive Director Dr. Jayasree Iyer.

Growing numbers of people are dying from “flesh-eating” microbes; from infections picked up in hospital and nursing homes; and from strains of pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and other diseases that are impervious to most drugs.

“Gonorrhoea, tuberculosis, E. Coli, salmonella, the plague, all diseases that are becoming untreatable. So companies are putting their R&D efforts in the right direction,” said Iyer.

Having new antibiotics in development was important, but so measures to encourage prudent use of existing drugs. Companies were also rated for clean manufacturing — particularly whether they discharged antibiotic-laden wastewater into rivers or lakes.

GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson are the best of the big pharmaceutical companies in tackling the growing “superbug” threat, according to an index released Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Overall, GSK led the field with 55 antimicrobial pipeline projects, including 13 vaccines.

But action taken by such companies is only the start of what could be done to address the problem, which former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill in 2014 estimated could cause 10 million deaths a year worldwide by 2050.

A lot more work needs to be done to ensure appropriate use of medicines — both new ones and the thousands of tonnes of older pills churned out each year by generic companies.

“We need more industry members, more pharmaceutical companies, to develop new antibiotics, new medicines, new vaccines to replace the ones who no longer work and find new responsible ways to produce them and get them to the patient,” said the executive director. — Reuters


BOC seizes P3-M worth of illegal drugs in Pasay City

UNTV News   •   October 10, 2017

marijuana leaves

MANILA, Philippines – Customs Commisioner Isidro Lapeña has confirmed that the Bureau of Customs confiscated five  parcels containing marijuana leaves, and cannabis oats and another one containing ecstasy at Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) in Pasay City after the said parcels underwent X-ray scanners.

The contents of the parcels were misdeclared as its documents said these contain food additives, apparels, handbags and school supplies.

The Customs Anti-Illegal Drugs Taskforce conducted a physical examination of its the contents. Afterwards, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) confirmed that the parcels’ contents are indeed illicit drugs.

The confiscated illegal drugs are estimated to be worth more than P3-million, allegedly shipped from the United States and Germany.

“Noong makita sa x-ray hinold ng Philpost at hinintay na pipick-upin kung kanino naka-address iyong mga items na iyon (When it was discovered in the x-ray, Philpost held it and waited for the consignee to collect it). But they didn’t appear. After several months of waiting for the claimant they decided to turn it over to the PDEA,” Lapeña said.

The BOC has intensified the use of X-ray scanning especially since the use of the green lane remains suspended.

PDEA is also in full support of the monitoring of all baggage’s and parcels undergoing X-ray scanners at all postal offices and international airports.

PDEA National Capital Region Director Ismael Fajardo said illegal drug peddlers frequently use postal offices to smuggle illegal drugs in the country.

“As Commissioner Lapeña mentioned, the X-ray utilization is 100%, and I would suggest some intelligence work.  That’s why he suspended the green lane because of the selective items that pass through it,” PDEA NCR Regional Director III Ismael Fajardo Jr, PHD said.

The six consignees will face charges for violating the Republic Act Number 10863 or the Customs Modernization Tariff Act and the Republic Act Number 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The BOC has already turned over PDEA the confiscated illegal drugs. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue


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