BAGUIO CITY– The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is urging Cordillera local government units (LGUs) to enact ordinances banning the sale of medicines in small retail stores in the region as it poses health risk to the public.
“We are urging our local chief executives (LCEs) to enact ordinances prohibiting the sale of any type of pharmacist-only over-the-counter medicines by small retail stores in the region in order to avoid potentially fatal side effects,” DILG-CAR Regional Director Araceli San Jose said.
She said that if a store is found dispensing, selling, or reselling pharmaceutical products without proper authorization, the ordinance shall impose the revocation of the store’s business permit or license as a penalty.
RD San Jose, however, clarified that small variety stores can only sell OTC medicines and not prescription drugs.
“In addition, local governments should ensure that the guidelines and regulations are incorporated into their existing business permit and licensing systems and requirements. They should also coordinate with the Philippine National Police and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and assist them in their drive to crack down on counterfeit drugs and illegal distribution of pharmaceutical products,” she underscored.
RD San Jose also encouraged LGUs to coordinate with their respective city/municipal health offices, as well as the FDA and component barangays, to ensure the operation of Botika ng Bayan and Botika ng Barangay outlets in their area in order to ensure unhindered access to authentic products.
“LGUs should also establish an enabling mechanism designed to assist retail store owners in obtaining proper FDA authorization to dispense, sell, and resell pharmaceutical products,” she said.
Barangays are also directed to assist the city and municipal government in the enforcement of the said regulations and guidelines
Only FDA-licensed retail drug outlets or pharmacies are permitted to sell drugs and medicine to the general public under Section 30 of Republic Act (RA) No. 10918, also known as the Philippine Pharmacy Act.
RD San Jose reminded violators that the mere possession of counterfeit drugs is punishable under Republic Act No. 8203, also known as the Special Law on Counterfeit drugs.
Fraudulent COVID-19 Tests, Vaccines and Treatments
Meanwhile, the public is reminded to be cautious and avoid purchasing or using dubious products that claim to help diagnose, treat, cure, or even prevent coronavirus disease. ### (PMTG/DILG-CAR)