MANILA – Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said Monday he was seeking an investigation into the sale of fake medicines in the Philippines, calling it "large scale swindle of the cruelest kind.”
Citing a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Recto said the Philippines led Southeast Asia in terms of reported cases of pharmaceutical crime, accounting for 193 of the 673 incidents reported from 2013 to 2017.
Recto, who filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the matter, said the UN agency report was a cause for “alarm and action.”
About P187 billion of the P372.8 billion “out-of-pocket” health expenditures of Filipino families in 2017 went to pharmacies, he said.
Genito-urinary therapeutic products (including erectile dysfunction products), central nervous system (CNS) drugs and anti-infectives were most frequently affected by counterfeiting while
cardiovascular drugs, CNS drugs, and alimentary (e.g. nutrition supplements) and metabolism drugs were the most frequently affected by illicit diversion, the UNODC said.