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DoH warns surprise checks for overpriced drugs

Posted on: September 29, 2009

DoH warns surprise checks for overpriced drugs

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:07:00 09/29/2009

Filed Under: Health, Pharmaceuticals

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DoH) will monitor pricing of medicines for anti-leptospirosis and water-borne diseases foreseen to be in demand in the wake of floods caused by tropical storm Ondoy, an official said Tuesday.

Dr. Yolanda Oliveros, DoH director of National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said the DoH will conduct surprise visits in drugstores and pharmacies, particularly those near the Philippine General Hospital, that are reported to have been selling medicines at higher than usual prices.

Specifically, Oliveros noted reports that drugstores have raised prices of Doxycycline, an antibiotic for leptospirosis. She noted “insensitive opportunists” are now selling Doxycycline at P5 to P10 per tablet, up from P2 per tablet prior to last weekend’s disaster.

On the Internet, people have also reported that Doxicon, a brand of Doxycycline has been selling as high as P60 per tablet especially in areas near Marikina and Rizal, which were badly hit by floods.

People with wounds are most susceptible to leptospirosis and can get infected if they wade through murky waters, according to Oliveros.

She said the DoH will coordinate with the Bureau of Food and Drug as well as Department of Trade and Industry in monitoring for overpriced drugs.

She added they will also monitor prices of paracetamol and multivitamins. Consumers who may have bought overpriced drugs are advised to save their receipts and report to DTI via its hotline (02) 751-3330.

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