There are no fake drugs manufactured or sold in Bohol, Department of Health (DOH) officials yesterday assured Gov. Edgar Chatto amid fears of counterfeit medicines also possibly peddledÂ in the province.
DOH Regional Director Jaime Bernadas told Chatto that the only recent case of selling fake medicines was reported in Cebu but was immediately busted and stopped.
There has been â€œno other report except that, Govâ€ and there is â€œnone in Bohol,â€ the top health official in the region assured in his reply yesterday to the Bohol governorâ€™s inquiry by text message.
Dr. Portia Reyes, DOH provincial team leader, asserted in her text reply to a separate inquiry from Chatto that Bohol â€œis negative of any manufacturer of fake drugs.â€
This has been validated by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), according to Reyes.
Reyes said they have emphasized to the distributors and retailers only to sell medicines from manufacturers who have complied with â€œgood manufacturing practice.â€
But there is one important note, Bernadas said, as there are still in the market medicines from manufacturers who are â€œnon-compliantâ€ to the â€œsealâ€ of good manufacturing practice.
The seal is issued regularly by the FDA, the DOH-7 official said.
Chatto checked with both the Bohol and Central Visayas DOH authorities as soon as the concern was raised during his weekly interaction with the local press at Governorâ€™s Mansion on Friday.
Reyes recalled a case in Loon but involving the manufacturing of â€œmedicinesâ€ from tree roots soaked in wine and the authorities had it stopped.
The concern for consumerâ€™s good and public safety against fake drugs or counterfeit medicines was timely highlighted in the DOH-7 meeting in Cebu marking the national observance of the Generics Month.
Chatto was informed that the only report about fake medicines, which Bernadas said were in a â€œbigger scheme,â€ was when a known drug company complained and, with law enforcement assistance, seized the hot items from several drugstores.
This had happened in Cebu about three months ago, Bernadas said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a counterfeit pharmaceutical product is produced and sold with the intent to deceptively represent its origin, authenticity or effectiveness
A counterfeit medicine is a fake medicine as it may be contaminated or contain the wrong or no active ingredient, can have the right ingredient but at the wrong dose, and is illegal and potentially harmful to health.
World health authorities further have these key facts for public guidance:
- Spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit (SFFC) medicines are medicines deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled with respect to identity and source;
- Use of SSFC medicines can result in treatment failure or even death;
- Both branded and generic products are subjects to counterfeiting;
- All kinds of medicines have been counterfeited, from medicines for treatment of life threatening conditions to inexpensive generic versions of painkilllers and antihistamines; and
- SFFC medicines may include products with the correct ingredients or with the wrong ingredients, without active ingredients, with insufficient or too much active ingredient, or with fake packaging.
Legitimate distributors and retailers of drugs and medicines have to observe responsibility over their trade, but Chatto said the consuming public has to be on alert and report any suspicion to proper authorities.Â (Ven rebo Arigo)