Harsher laws needed vs fake drug makers

OUR legislators must come up with stiffer laws when it comes to those manufacturing fake medicines.

This is in light of a recent bust where about P30 million worth of fake Biogesic and other medicines that addresss flu symptoms were seized by joint operatives from the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Intelligence Service Armed Forces Of the Philippines (ISAFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The operation was conducted on January 5 in a warehouse in Paranaque and apart from the branded paracetamol, those confiscated included Neozep, Bioflu, Immunpro, Ivermectin, Phenokinon F Injection, Medicol, Planax, Alaxan FR, MX3 and a host of other medicines.

The lawmen were armed with a certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the manufacturer of the branded paracetamol, stating that the drugs found during the operations were all fake. The medicines were found stacked inside a carton that had Chinese characters on it.

During the operation at the warehouses, a 31-year-old male Pakistani was arrested. He was brought to the Paranaque City Prosecutors’ Office and charged with violation of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation/Exportation), Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure at Forfeiture) paragraph (l) (5) in relation to Section 118 (Prohibited Importation at Exportation) paragraph (e) of the CMTA and of Republic Act No. 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and its Pertinent Rules and Regulations).

It was learned that the Bureau of Immigration is also set to cancel the suspect’s visa.

The authorities received tipped information regarding the fake drugs being kept in the said warehouses.

Only last November 24, 2021, the same set of authorities were also able to confiscate fake medicines in Pasig City.

The drugs consisted of Alaxan, Tuseran Forte, Propan and Diatabs and are worth about P50 million.

Although illegal, it is more acceptable if the items being faked are mere clothes, bags or shoes. Anything, for as long as they are not for consumption or they do not go into people’s bodies and affect their health.

What these manufacturers of fake drugs are doing is made even more despicable by the fact that what they are faking are medicines that supposedly address symptoms related to COVID-19.

Especially these days when health authorities say that Omicron might already be the prevalent variant currently sweeping the nation, the symptoms are the same as ordinary flu, usually cough, colds, and sore throat, sometimes with a fever.

These unscrupulous individuals are apparently taking undue advantage of the fact that there is a reported shortage of the same branded medicine recently.

The makers of fake drugs do not have any conscience at all as they put profit ahead of the safety and welfare of others.

They are not only endangering the lives of those seeking to get well but that of the entire population as well. They should be punished real hard.

Jokjok (from Timothy Olgado of Pasig City)

Bulag at duling, nag-aaway gustong magsusuntukan…

Bulag: Hayup ka, duling! Lumabas ka diyan, ‘wag kang magtago sa dilim!

Duling: Hah! In your dreams! Bakit ako lalabas eh dalawa kayo! Ano ko, bali??

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