THE Philippine Pharmacist Association Inc. (PPhA) clarified that not all pharmaceutical drugs will be available at the Botika ng Bayan (BNB) but only the essential medicines.
This came after five BNBs have been established in Davao City, giving the public free access to medicines.
Essential medicines include maintenance medicines for patients with hypertension and basic medicines for simple coughs, colds, constipation and others.
PPhA said most of the stock medicines are generic but they could assure their quality.
Pharmacists will also be assigned at each BNB.
“The program of the government before in putting up Botika ng Barangay is just to provide access. Now, it is providing access but the quality will not be compromised. PPhA is committed to support the government,” PPhA public relations officer Bryan Posadas said in a press conference Tuesday, April 30.
Davao City was chosen to become the pilot testing area to support the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law but people from outside the city can also avail themselves of the free medicines from BNBs.
“The Department of Health (DOH) will be giving medicines for free to all regardless of status, provided that the patient has a valid prescription. Kahit mayaman o mahirap, because of UHC, we wanted to make medicines available to all,” Professional Regulatory Board of Pharmacy member Adelina Royo said.
“It is not just Davao City that the BNB is going to serve. It is the whole country because the goal is to serve everyone with free medicines,” she added.
BNBs are located in Lingap Center at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the City Health Office, and Calinan, Toril and Bunawan District health centers.