Solon seeks antibiotics prescriptions probe in PH

Is there really an over prescription of drugs in the Philippines?

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez intends to find answers to this question when he called on the House of Representatives to look into the issuance process of drug prescriptions in the Philippines.

The lawmaker from Mindanao expressed alarm that over-prescription of medicines in the Philippines may have been causing drug resistance among Filipinos.

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Citing an international study, Rodriguez said 50 to 70 percent of the antibiotics prescribed by health workers were unnecessary, and often resulted to antimicrobial resistance to drugs.

"(While this is) inevitable, there is still a need for a more comprehensive antimicrobial surveillance system to encompass most, if not all major disease-causing bacteria," Rodriguez explained

"There is a need to come up with the legislation to prevent the misuse of medicines and prevent over-prescription,” he insisted.

Filing House Resolution No. 2541, Rodriguez urged House Committee on Health to invite government officials, doctors, and experts who can shed light on the matter and a related World Health Organization (WHO) report.

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Earlier, WHO director-general Margaret Chan said the the world is entering an era when drug treatments will no longer be effective against many infections.

She explained most common infections like strep throat or a child's scratched knee are starting to become drug-resistant and "could once again kill" due to irrational use of drugs.

Chan also said that some operations like hip replacements, organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy and care of pre-term infants would become far more difficult or even too dangerous to undertake.

"There is a need to address the problem especially in far-flung areas of the country where people have limited access to medicines," Rodriguez said.

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