Sunday, May 26, 2024

Gov’t Seeks To Manufacture, Stockpile Essential Medicines

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Gov’t Seeks To Manufacture, Stockpile Essential Medicines

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President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the country should improve its preparedness for future emergencies by setting up a stockpile of essential medicines and ramping up local production of pharmaceuticals.

Marcos made the remark during a meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) healthcare sector group at Malacañan Palace.

“Let’s maximize the local production. The initial reason why this came up is the supply problems that we encountered during the lockdowns so we need to be prepared. We should be able to produce the local supply of essential medicines,” Marcos said.

In response to this, the Department of Health (DOH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they will collaborate with the private sector to identify medicines that can be produced locally, and maximize the capacity of local manufacturers to produce essential medicines particularly for indigent Filipino patients, such as anti-tuberculosis drugs.

During the same meeting, the PSAC said it will monitor new technologies in healthcare that can be used for geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, and study the feasibility of establishing remote diagnostics centers.

Digitalization of FDA’s information systems

The PSAC also reported that full digitalization of the FDA’s information systems is expected this August in line with the President’s commitment to lower drug prices and improve access to medicines.

Currently, the overall digitalization rate is 72.5 percent.

The digitalization project includes the upgrading of 10 IS, such as the electronic certificate of the product registration information system, the PSAC said.

The advisory council said once digitalized, other systems, such as new chemical entity renewal, certificate of listing of the identical drug product (CLIDP), and post-marketing surveillance, shall follow.

Among those who attended the PSAC meeting were Sabin Aboitiz Strategic convenor president and CEO Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.; Paolo Maximo Borromeo, Healthcare lead president and CEO of Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc; Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., Healthcare Sector Member and Filipino-American molecular biologist; Dr. Nicanor Montoya, Healthcare Sector Member and CEO of Medicard Philippines, Inc.; DOH officer in charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, and CHED chairperson J. Prospero de Vera III. (PNA)

President In Action

Metro Manila