Tulfo wants to ban, withdraw ineffective generic drugs

UPDATES ON HOSPITAL BULLYING: Senator Raffy Tulfo, during the hearing of the Committee on Health and Demography on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, requests an update from the DOH) on its investigation of the harassment incidents at several hospitals (Bibo Nueva España/PRIB Senate)

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker has called for the ban and recall of “ineffective” generic drugs in the country, raising the need to sue pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these drugs.

Senator Raffy Tulfo expressed this concern during the hearing of the Senate committee on health and demography on Tuesday.

Health Secretary Herbosa admitted at the hearing that while most generic drugs are cheaper, some are still “not as clinically effective” as brand-name drugs.

“The public needs to be informed. We need to know so that the public can avoid it. Our poor countrymen keep buying them, but as you say, these are not effective, so their money is wasted. Those [that manufacture] generic [drugs] they should be investigated or charged if they cut back on drug manufacturing,” Tulfo said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“What you need to do, Sec. Herbosa is tell your people (the good guys, your geniuses over there at the Food and Drug Administration) that you should expose what you say are ineffective generic drugs. You’ve got us to say because we won’t buy it. This should no longer be prescribed, this should be prohibited, this should be recalled,” stressed a visibly irritated Tulfo.

TO READ: The truth is that generic drugs are not only affordable, they are safe and effective

Herbosa said they will heed Tulfo’s call, but the health chief also explained that the Food and Drug Administration is already monitoring generic drugs sold in the country.

Herbosa then noted that doctors can report drugs that are not effective or have an adverse event to their respective hospital’s drug committee.

TO READ: DOH: Make true, cheaper generics more accessible

In “junkets” sponsored by pharmaceuticals

In the same hearing, Tulfo and Herbosa also discussed an alleged practice of some doctors who make extravagant trips sponsored by some pharmaceutical companies.

According to the senator, these illegal and controversial “pharmaceutical industry-sponsored junkets” are why brand-name drugs are often prescribed by doctors.

“You can get away. It was a good time for drug companies for seminars, abroad, schooling, free plane tickets, hotel accommodation, and we’re talking millions of pesos and even dollars,” said Tulfo.

(Because there is this practice we call junkets. Some doctors are being treated well by drug companies. Some attend seminars, go abroad, get free education, free plane tickets, and hotel accommodations, and we’re talking about millions of pesos and even dollars.)

Herbosa, for his part, said the country professionally adheres to the Mexico Protocol, which prohibits all members of professional organizations from accepting gifts from pharmaceutical companies.

The health chief said that pharmaceutical companies are penalized for this act. He added that he is aware that this was a practice for some in the old days.

This, however, did not sit well with Tulfo, who proceeded to ask Herbosa if “she was born yesterday”.

“Even as we speak. Maybe the schedule of the United States, Canada, Australia, today’s schedule, let me finish. I can prove it with the doctors; the doctor may be similar. This is the best doctor and the language in Hindi,” said Tulfo.

(As we speak, some are already scheduled for trips to the United States, Canada, Australia, and anywhere overseas. Let me finish. I can prove it with doctors. I have doctors tell me these things, and they are the good ones. who don’t accept these things.)

Tulfo even claimed that a hotel in Las Vegas is usually filled with doctors from different countries, including the Philippines.

The lawmaker said these doctors receive free plane tickets, free hotel accommodation, free registrations, as well as funds for casino games.

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“Now, ‘yan ‘yung sang kung bakit maasay ang presyo ng gamot dito,” said Tulfo.

(Now, this is why the price of medicine is high here.)

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Image Source : newsinfo.inquirer.net

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