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CONSUMERS TOLD: Report drug complaints to FDA hotlines

Posted on: October 28, 2009

CONSUMERS TOLD:
Report drug complaints to FDA hotlines

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 09:40:00 10/28/2009

Filed Under: Health, Illegal drugs, Consumer Issues

MANILA, Philippines — The health department’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called on consumers to help fight substandard and counterfeit drugs entering the local market through the agency’s hotlines, an official said.

Department of Health (DoH) secretary Francisco Duque III said FDA launched its Medicines Surveillance Integrating Consumer Reporting Project in Metro Manila to guard the country’s drug supply and educate consumers on the proper use of drugs.

“In this age of globalization, consumerism, free trade, and increasing use of the Internet, the ordinary person now has easy access to different drugs and medicines. Combine this with the penchant for self-medication and the need to improve the drug dispensing practices of our pharmacists and we have a potentially harmful situation where drug safety is questioned,” said Duque.

FDA’s monitoring arm will also receive consumer reports of substandard drug preparations, adverse drug reactions, and counterfeit medicines, as it did when it was the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), said Duque.

Consumer reports previously have led to the detection of illegal business operation practices, such as operating without a license or a registered pharmacist; unlawful dispensing of drugs in the absence of a pharmacist; selling of unregistered, expired, or suspected counterfeit drugs; errors in drug dispensing; lack of drug efficacy or false claims of supplements; and quality defects, he added.

To report drug complaints, contact FDA via (02) 807-8275 0905-4171771 and 0909-2080500, or e-mail ireport@bfad.gov.ph. Reports can also be made via the Bantay Gamot Report Forms available in most drugstores, said Duque.

To report complaints against any drug, the caller may give his name, address, and contact numbers; to report adverse drug reactions, the caller will be asked to give other clinical data as needed, he said.

“All reports will be treated as confidential and shall be analyzed and investigated following FDA protocol,” Duque assured.

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