Allow sari-sari stores to sell over-the-counter meds: Senate bet

(Screengrab from PTV)

MANILA – Partido Reporma senatorial candidate and health advocate Dr. Minguita Padilla said "sari-sari" or small retail stores should be allowed to sell over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

Hindi dapat ipagbawal ang mga sari-sari store na magbenta ng mga OTC na gamot (Sari-sari stores should not be prevented from selling OTC medicines),” Padilla said during a campaign sortie in Lucena City, Quezon on Tuesday when asked about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plan to ban sales of paracetamol, dextromethorphan, and other basic drugs in neighborhood outlets.

This came amid reports of "sari-sari" stores selling fake drugs to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which the government warned is dangerous as they are unregulated and unlicensed and could have possible fatal side effects.

Padilla, who visited Quezon with Partido Reporma presidential candidate Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, vice presidential bet Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, and her fellow senatorial bets, said OTC medicines are usually bought at a local “botika” (pharmacies) and even large grocery stores, and do not require a prescription.

Padilla said it would only make it harder for Filipinos to buy drugs for common ailments if they have to go beyond their neighborhoods to acquire them if the FDA pushes through with the plan.

Ito ay labis na pagpapahirap sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan sa mga baryo. Siguro kung laging may supply ang barangay health center ng mga ganitong gamot, then OK. Pero wala naman. Kawawa naman ang mga taga-baryo o malayo ang mga bahay sa pinakamalapit na botika (This is too much for the ordinary folk in the barrios. Perhaps if barangay health centers always have a supply of these (OTC) medicines, then OK. But there isn’t. Pity the barrio folk or those who live far from the nearest pharmacy)," she added.

Padilla reiterated that what should be banned is the sale of drugs that need a doctor’s prescription, and must be dispensed by a pharmacist.

She also said the government should go after manufacturers of fake OTC drugs.

The agency should publish on their website and on newspapers, radio, and television the brands of these fake medicines and their distributors to warn the public.

"Kaunting imbestigasyon at political will, matitigil ang ganitong illegal na aktibidad. 'Yan ang tamang solusyon, hindi ang pagpapahirap sa taumbayan (A little investigation and political will can stop this illegal activity. This is the correct solution, not to make the people suffer even more)," Padilla added.

Meanwhile, Lacson guaranteed that no corruption and other government abuses will happen under the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers should he and Sotto win the May 9 elections.

Lacson made this remark in an interview with Bombo Radyo on Tuesday, where he was asked about his plans for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) once he emerges as the country’s 17th President.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem believes that corruption and the greed of some government officials are at the root of the problems of many Filipinos, including OFWs who are hailed as the country’s modern heroes. (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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