June 21, 2024

The Department of the Interior and Local Government is urging local government units in the Cordillera to enact ordinances banning the sale of medicines in small retail stores.
“We are urging our local chief executives to enact ordinances prohibiting the sale of any type of pharmacist-only over-the-counter (OTC) medicines by small retail stores in the region to avoid potentially fatal side effects,” DILG-CAR Director Araceli San Jose said.
She said if a store is found dispensing, selling, or reselling pharmaceutical products without authorization, the ordinance shall impose the revocation of the store’s business permit or license as a penalty.
San Jose clarified small variety stores can only sell OTC medicines and not prescription drugs.
Local governments should also ensure that the guidelines and regulations are incorporated into their business permit and licensing systems and requirements. They should also coordinate with the Philippine National Police and the Food and Drug Administration and assist them in their drive to crackdown on counterfeit drugs and illegal distribution of pharmaceutical products, San Jose said.
She also encouraged LGUs to coordinate with local 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,” San Jose said.
Barangay officials are also directed to assist the city or municipal government in the enforcement of the said regulations and guidelines.
Only FDA-licensed retail drug outlets or pharmacies are permitted to sell medicine to the general public under Section 30 of Republic Act 10918, also known as the Philippine Pharmacy Act.
San Jose reminded violators that the mere possession of counterfeit drugs is punishable under Republic Act 8203, also known as the Special Law on Counterfeit drugs. – DILG release