Update: Philippines Committed to Full Implementation of the Generics Act. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 009 (1990)
(1990; 2 pages)


The Philippines enacted its first national drug policy in 1987 and followed shortly thereafter with the Generics Acts. Signed in September 1988, the Generics Act aims to encourage the use of generic medicines by promoting the production of an adequate supply, encouraging the use of generic names, and emphasizing the scientific basis for these drugs. Implementation of the Act will be overseen by the Assistant Secretary of Health and a National Drug Programme Management Committee. Initiatives that have been taken since include revising the rules and regulations for the registration of pharmaceutical products, compiling the first volume of a National Drug Formulary, educating individuals on how to use the Formulary, and creating a quality control laboratory at the Bureau of Food and Drugs. One of the major goals of the Generics Act was the rationalization of drug use. The Act includes several provisions, such as the use of generic terminology on labels and by doctors, that are aimed at achieving this goal. Various tools and systems have been established to monitor the implementation of the national drug policy and the Generics Act. One challenge the Generics Act faced in early 1990 was drug costs. No price controls were in place; this led to an increase in the price of brand name and generic drugs. An agreement was reached between the Department of Health and the drug industry to freeze prices, but many drugs remained economically out of reach for much of the population. At the time of the article, the WHO Action Programme on Essential Drugs offered support to the Filipino government in the implementation of activities covering selection, production, drug use, prices, and monitoring during the next two years. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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