TACLOBAN CITY– Lack of licensed pharmacists has been noted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as among the problems plaguing drug stores operating in the region.
This was disclosed by lawyer Emilio Polig, Jr., officer-in-charge of the FDA, during a gathering Thursday (May 24), here in the city.
The lack of licensed pharmacists in several drug stores in the region and other parts of the country as well could be traced due to the low salary that they are receiving, the FDA said.
“Our pharmacists are being pirated by other countries so we are trying to come up with a plan to address this problem. It is important that we develop an appropriate technology for the creation of virtual pharmacy or tele-pharmacy if there is no pharmacist available,” FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno said.
Under Republic Act 10918 or the Philippine Pharmacy Act of 2015, mandates that only licensed or registered pharmacists have the exclusive rights to dispense medicines and must be conducted only within a licensed establishment.
Polig said that they are appealing to local government units not to issue business license to a drug store which does not have a registered pharmacist.
“That is why, the FDA needs the assistance of LGU in the enforcement of law in the local level because they are in charge in giving licensing and business permit,” he said.
Jonathan Chiquillo, vice president of the Philippine Pharmacist Association (PPA) in Eastern Visayas, assured the FDA that they are all following the law mandating to always have a license pharmacists in their respective establishments.
The FDA had been talking with the PPA to come up with ideas that can be implemented to address the problem on the shortage of pharmacists.
“We are understands that there is a crisis but rest assure that we are addressing this problem and we are pushing for an immediate implementation once we come up with a solution to this problem,” Puno stressed.
Also cited by FDA as problems affecting the drug store business are unregistered health products; without license to operate and operating with expired license. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)