June 20, 2024

A local version of the Philippine Pharmacy Act (RA 10918) has been submitted at the city council.

On top of the regulatory measures spelled out in the Philippine Pharmacy Act, the proposed ordinance adopts the guidelines set in Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2022-025.

The proposed ordinance adds that sari-sari stores, micro-enterprises, and other similar retail outlets may apply for authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to dispense, sell, and resell pharmaceutical products that are limited to household remedies and over-the-counter drugs by securing a license to operate from the FDA; employment of the supervision and oversight of a licensed pharmacist pursuant to Section 31b of RA 10918; and other requirements imposed by the FDA.

The said memorandum circular directs all local government units to enact an ordinance in line with RA 10918, the MC itself, and other related laws and issuances. It also mandates the integration of the national guidelines in the existing business permit and licensing systems and requirements of all LGUs.

Any person or entity found violating the ordinance shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P2,000 for the second offense; and P3,000 for the third and subsequent offenses as well as revocation of their business permit.

The Baguio City Police Office and Permits and Licensing Division, and the concerned barangays shall be tasked to implement the ordinance.

The proposed ordinance was referred to the committee on health and sanitation, ecology, and environmental protection for review.

RA 10918 prohibits the sale, reselling, dispensing, and compounding of prescription medicines and pharmacist-only of over-the-counter medicines in all retail outlets except those that are licensed by the FDA.

Prescription/ethical medicines are those that can only be dispensed by a pharmacist upon presentation of a prescription from a physician, dentist, or veterinarian and for which a pharmacist’s advice is necessary.

Pharmacist-only over the counter medicines IRR are over-the-counter medicines classified by appropriate government agencies that can be obtained only from a pharmacist with mandatory pharmacist’s advice on its selection and proper use.

Prescription medicines shall be dispensed only with a valid prescription of a physician, dentist, or veterinarian and that dispensing of pharmaceutical or drug products for veterinary use should be in accordance with the prescribed guidelines of the FDA.

Prescription drugs and pharmacist-only medicines shall be dispensed only by a pharmacist except in emergency cases where the services of a pharmacist are not available and that, in such cases, a certified pharmacy assistant or pharmacy technician may dispense the medicine, provided that a report shall be submitted to the supervising pharmacist within 24 hours after the occurrence of the emergency. – Jordan G. Habbiling