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DILG: ‘Sari sari’ stores should apply to FDA to sell medicines

Republika

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has urged local government units (LGUs) to enact ordinances banning medicine sales in sari-sari stores throughout the country.


“LGUs should protect the health and general welfare of their constituents. We, therefore, urge LGUs to ensure that sari-sari stores within their jurisdictions are not selling any medicine,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement of mixed English and Tagalog, “because under the law, they are not authorized.”


Año issued the statement after numerous reports, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), of fake medicines in small retail stores (colloquially known as ‘sari sari stores’).


In a recent public briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte, the FDA brought up receiving 185 reports on sari sari stores illegally selling medicines; 78 of those were confirmed to be guilty of the charges.


Despite not having the authority, he then directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest violators selling medicines immediately.


Under Republic Act No. 10918 or the Philippine Pharmacy Act’s Section 30, only FDA-licensed retail drug outlets or pharmacies can sell medicine and drugs to the public.


A day after this, Año then backtracked and said it was possible for sari sari stores to get authorization from the FDA to sell medicines, but only those classified as OTC (over-the-counter).


“[Sari sari store owners] can apply to the FDA,” Año said in Tagalog during an interview with Unang Hirit. “If they are given authorization, they can sell.”

Photo: YouTube


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