DOH: Generic drugs effective vs leptospirosis-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
THE Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday vouched for the effectivity of generic doxycycline in preventing leptospirosis, which is threatening hundreds of thousands of families in Luzon affected by the torrential rains and massive flooding.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the public should not hesitate in asking for generic drugs to be used against possible illnesses brought by the flood since they are equally effective in preventing them.
“Ask your doctor to prescribe generic drugs as much as possible,” he said.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic that is currently recommended to prevent leptospirosis among those with increased risk of exposure.
At present, the Health department said the price of a generic, 100- milligram doxycycline capsule varies from P2 to P15 depending on the manufacturer. The capsule is available in government hospitals and commercial drugstores.
Last week, President Benigno Aquino III said a pharmaceutical company would be investigated for jacking up its prices by as much as 750 times more.
Malacañang could not identify which specific company is involved in the overpricing but said they received information that medicine for leptospirosis had gone up dramatically.
Ona is appealing to drug companies, distributors and pharmacies to make affordable the prices of medicines, especially doxycycline even as the DOH has already distributed the drug for free for rescue and relief teams and residents in evacuation centers.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria called Leptospira, which can be transmitted to humans through water, food, or soil containing urine from infected animals – usually rats. (HDT/Sunnex)