Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Unfair provision in cheaper medicines bill

I am not anti-poor. I am all for this cheaper medicines bill. I am all for cheaper medicines. What i object to, and what the PMA objects to, is the provision that prevents doctors from prescribing particular brands of medicine to patients.. This last-minute provision to the Cheaper Medicine Bills is playing with the health of millions of Filipinos. Generics may be okay for simple coughs. But in cases like pneumonia which is not easy to cure, simple generics might not be the solution, according to Dr. Jose Sabili, president of the Philippine Medical Association.
Branded medicines from the USA undergo numerous testings before they even get the nod of the US FDA. To simply come up with generic equivalents of these medicines and say this is good enough without the needed research is reckless. Doctors should have a say on what they think will be the best medicine for their patients. Sure, they can include the generic name of the said medicine so the patient has the option to choose, but let us not prvent them from recommending brands that have been tried and tested. We cannot play God with the lives of our citizens just so some activist congresswoman can look good on television 2 years before elections. I feel that if this bill is not properly reviewed, this will cause more harm than good. Again, let me make it clear that i am not against the Bill, just the provision that prohibits doctors from prescribing paritcular brands.